DES MOINES — House Republicans have unveiled a list of 13 priority bills, including one that forbids classroom instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade.
Another would require schools to notify a parent if a student asks to be identified by a different gender when they’re at school.
House Speaker Pat Grassley says the bill specifies that school employees cannot facilitate, encourage or coerce students to withhold that kind of information from parents. “Those are the kind of conversations that need to be happening amongst students and parents,” Grassley said on . “The public school system is not the place for this to be happening. It needs to be about empowering the parents and that’s what we’re doing with a lot of these policies.”
House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst says these bills are “mean-spirited attacks” on LGBTQ teenagers and adults.
“No matter who you are in this state, no matter you love or how you live, we love you,” Konfrst said. ” We see you and we believe in you.”
Another bill on the House GOP agenda would require schools to provide parents with details about coursework, including what books and other materials will be used. It’s similar to legislation the House passed in 2022. Thirty-one of the 64 House Republicans have also filed a bill that would require social studies classes in all of Iowa’s public and private schools to teach that communism conflicts with freedom and democracy.