Will Iowa Pass Its Own ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill?
Iowa House Republicans introduced a bill on Wednesday similar to the law in Florida commonly known as the 'Don't Say Gay Bill', according to the Globe Gazette.
The measure says that public school teachers may not teach sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. It would also require that school boards provide age-appropriate and research-based instruction in human growth and development according to the Globe Gazette. Supporters of the bill say that its meant to allow parents to determine when and where to introduce LGBTQ topics to their children.
The Globe Gazette reports that another bill that was also introduced on Wednesday would prohibit schools from recognizing a student's preferred gender identity without first getting written consent from the student's parents. House Republicans say that this bill ensures that schools can't hide information from parents about a student's requested gender transition or identity.
House Speaker Pat Grassley, who co-sponsored the bill, told the Globe Gazette, "we need to empower parents...making sure conversations are happening with children and their parents instead of happening in the school system." Opponents of the bills say that the measures undermine LGBTQ support in schools and that the parental notification requirement could result in teachers 'outing' LGBTQ students to parents and relatives before they're ready to, according to the Globe Gazette. They also point out that the bills don't mention or require consulting with school counselors or consider the student's home situation.