Iowa Gov. Reynolds signs off on K–6 gender, sexuality lesson ban

  • Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law Friday a bill banning discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools through sixth grade.
  • The bill also bans school libraries from having books that depict sexual acts.
  • “This Congress, we have secured transformative education reforms that put parents in the driver’s seat,” Reynolds said in a statement.

Under a bill signed into law by Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday, teachers in Iowa are prohibited from raising questions of gender identity or sexual orientation to students through sixth grade, and all books depicting sexual acts are banned. Removed from school libraries.

The new law is one of similar measures approved by other Republican-majority state legislatures across the country. Like many of these proposals, Republican lawmakers in Iowa want their actions to allow parents to oversee what their children are learning in school and help teachers delve into topics such as gender and sexuality. It was positioned as a common-sense approach to avoid it.

Despite opposition from all Democrats, Republicans, who control the Iowa House of Representatives, approved the bill in April, leaving little doubt that Reynolds would sign it. She made issues related to gender identity and sexuality the focus of this year’s legislative agenda.

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“In this Congress, we will put parents in the driver’s seat, remove burdensome regulations on public schools, give teachers more flexibility in raising salaries, and prepare teachers for the future of their children,” Reynolds said in a statement. We have secured a transformative educational reform that empowers

The new law also requires school administrators to notify parents when a student requests a pronoun or name change. Religious books are exempt from the library ban on books depicting sexual acts.

FILE – Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds delivers his inaugural address on January 13, 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds on Friday signed a bill that would ban classes on gender and sexual orientation for elementary school students in public schools, as well as the display of books about sex in school libraries. (AP Photo/Charlie Neighborgal, File)

Democrats and LGBTQ groups say the restrictions limit children from speaking openly to teachers about issues of gender and sexuality, and from seeing their lives reflected in books and other curricula. claimed to have adverse effects.

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Keenan Crow, director of policy and advocacy for LGBTQ equality group One Iowa, said the passing of the law was not surprising. “But we are still very disappointed about this.”

“Like so many other parts of her agenda, this bill hits vulnerable children and benefits no one,” Crowe said of Reynolds.

The law also requires schools to post online a list of library books and instructions for parents on how to read the books and classroom materials, and to request the removal of any material. there is Schools will require parental approval before giving students questionnaires related to a variety of subjects, including mental health issues, gender and political affiliation.


Earlier this year, Reynolds signed two bills that would limit restrooms available to transgender students and ban transgender procedures and treatments, such as puberty blockers under the age of 18. Last year, Reynolds signed a Republican-backed bill banning the use of transgender women. Participated in track and field events for girls’ high school and women’s college. Like most recent legislation, both bills mirror legislation passed by Republican states across the country.

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