The Iowa House passed a bill Thursday that would prohibit lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation in K-6 public and charter school classrooms.
In a 57-38 vote, the state House approved Senate File 496, which would require public and charter schools to notify parents if their child has changed their gender. The bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday and now heads to Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk, where it is expected to be signed. (RELATED: Alaska Gov Touts Education Bill Requiring Parental Permission For Sex Ed And Gender Changes)
“Mr. Speaker, it is wrong for schools to keep secrets from parents about their kids,” Republican state Rep. Skyler Wheeler said before the bill was passed. “It is wrong to push political agendas in the classroom and it is wrong to put pornography in front of children. Mr. Speaker, for the sanity of our state I move the amendment.”
Under the legislation, public and charter schools must post curriculum and library materials online for parents to review. Schools are required to adopt a policy and process that allows parents to challenge material they believe is age-inappropriate, the bill stated.
“It is wrong to remove other books just because someone’s determined them not age appropriate, or that there’s some sexuality noted in it,” Democratic state Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott told ABC 6 News. “I mean, that’s part of life, and learning how to live life together, and how to be a healthy person. Those are topics that, you know, are part of our world.”Across the country, lawmakers are pushing for legislation that gives parents more of a say in their child’s education; on March 24, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Parents Bill of Rights, which would require that school districts post their curriculum online, allowing parents to review the materials annually. On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Education approved a proposal to extend the state’s Parental Rights in Education law, prohibiting certain lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation in grades 4-12.
“This bill here is letting parents be parents,” Republican state Sen. Brad Zaun told ABC 6 News. “We’re trying to protect kids.”
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