DES MOINES, Iowa – A bill, SF 167, prohibiting gender identity instruction in Iowa’s public and accredited non-public elementary schools without prior written parental or guardian consent advanced out of subcommittee on Tuesday.
The bill addressed controversial curriculum used in elementary schools that teach a person’s gender identity can be different from their assigned sex at birth.
The subcommittee made up of State Senators Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, Claire Celsi, D-West Des Moines, and Ken Rozenboom, R-Oskaloosa, advanced the bill 2 to 1, with the Republicans signing on to approve the legislation.
The bill prohibits gender identity instruction for kindergarteners. The prohibition on gender identity instruction does not apply to students in first through sixth grades if prior written consent from parents and guardians is sought by the school. Children without written consent are allowed to opt-out of the lesson.
Republicans on the committee said the bill’s goal is to protect young children from unsuitable, age-inappropriate content, especially when parents and guardians have not been notified.
“There are few things more beautiful than the innocence of a child. Recently, it has been taught to children as young as four years of age that their gender at birth may not be their gender identity. To sexualize the identity of a small child in their early formative years is unconscionable,” Carlin, who chaired the subcommittee, told The Iowa Torch. “Parents, in these instances, are often depicted as adversaries rather than lovingly concerned. When this happens, I regard it as an attack on that family.”
“Parents have every right to know when their children are taught any curriculum involving gender identity. SF 167 requires notice and consent of parents so that does not happen without their knowledge and opportunity to opt their children out,” he added.
Rozenboom said that opposing parental notification and consent is suspect.
“The fact that the gender theory activists feel the need to hide this ‘instruction’ from parents is all I need to know,” Rozenboom told The Iowa Torch. “The family is the most basic social institution, and I’m appalled that these people believe they need to insert themselves between parents and children. I’m sad that we even have to have legislation to stop this horrible intrusion into Iowa’s families.”
The Iowa Torch reached out to Celsi, who opposed the bill, for comment, but she did not reply before publication.
SF 167 is sponsored by State Senators Carlin, Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, Jeff Taylor, R-Sioux Center, Craig Johnson, R-Independence, Mike Klimesh, R-Spillville, Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, Rozenboom, and Tom Shipley, R-Nodaway.
The Iowa Senate Education Committee can now consider the bill.
This bill follows a subcommittee hearing last week on another bill, SF 224, also sponsored and chaired by Carlin. That bill would prohibit people from using restrooms or locker rooms in public and accredited non-public schools inconsistent with their biological sex.
Read the bill below:SF167