Red State Bans Lessons On Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation In K-6 Classrooms

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a piece of legislation Friday prohibiting lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation from K-6 public and charter school classrooms.

Under SF 496, educators are required to notify parents if their child has changed their gender at school, and curriculum and library materials must be posted online by public and charter schools for parents to review. The bill, signed into law by Reynolds, passed the state Senate in a 34-16 vote and the state House, 57-38 in April. (RELATED: DeSantis Signs Law Curbing Lessons On Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation In PreK-8 Classrooms)

“This legislative session, we secured transformational education reform that puts parents in the driver’s seat, eliminates burdensome regulations on public schools, provides flexibility to raise teacher salaries and empowers teachers to prepare our kids for their future,” Reynolds said in a press release. “Education is the great equalizer and everyone involved – parents, educators, our children – deserves an environment where they can thrive.”

The law also mandates that schools adopt a policy and process for parents to challenge material they believe is age-inappropriate.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at a campaign event for Senate candidate Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) at Dahl Auto Museum as part of Ernst’s RV tour of Iowa on October 31, 2020 in Davenport, Iowa. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“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.”

Throughout the nation, lawmakers are pushing bills that give parents more rights in their child’s education; in March, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Parents Bill of Rights, which would mandate that school districts post their curriculum online annually for parents to review. The Florida Department of Education approved a proposal extending the state’s Parental Rights in Education law, prohibiting certain lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation in grades 4-12.

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