Iowa bill would require parental consent before teaching children about ‘gender identity’

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Demonstrators attend a rally to support the transgender community March 5, 2017, on the Ped Mall in Iowa City. (The Gazette)

Lawmakers in Iowa are standing up to “gender identity” being taught in schools that are supposed to be educating children in skills like math, writing, reading and critical thinking.

Under a bill that cleared a Senate subcommittee on Feb. 23, parents of elementary school students would have to be notified and give written permission if gender identity studies were included in a curriculum that otherwise met state educational standards, reports The Gazette.

Senate File 167 lets students in first through sixth grades opt out of gender-identity classwork if a public or nonpublic accredited school does not have written permission from the pupil’s parent or guardian. In the bill, “gender identity” is defined as what gender people think they are, regardless of their scientific gender.

“The family is the most basic human social institution and for the schools to insert themselves squarely between the parents and the child is simply unthinkable to me,” said Sen. Ken Rozenboom, R-Oskaloosa, one of two Republicans who voted to send the legislation to the full Senate Education Committee for consideration.

The bill passed 2-1 over objections from representatives of education organizations as well as some parents, teachers, students and advocates for transgender issues who warned of a “slippery slope” of basing instruction based on legislative “whims” like scientific gender.

“We don’t want the Legislature dictating what can and cannot be taught because that doesn’t benefit all students,” said Phil Jeneary, a lobbyist for Iowa Association of School Boards.

 

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