DES MOINES, Iowa (LifeSiteNews) — Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation Friday to prohibit LGBT indoctrination in elementary school, exclude sexually explicit material from public school libraries, and keep parents aware of signs their children might struggle with gender dysphoria.
Senate File 496, one of several education-related measures enacted the same day, prohibits any instruction relating to sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through sixth grade, excludes from school libraries any books containing depictions or descriptions of sex acts (except for religious texts), requires school library catalogs to be posted online for parents’ review, enables parents to request removal of objectionable classroom materials, requires parental consent to survey children on a variety of topics including political affiliation and mental health, and requires parental notification of any student request to be recognized as the opposite gender.
“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. “Education is the great equalizer and everyone involved – parents, educators, our children – deserves an environment where they can thrive.”
The governor added on Twitter a declaration that she will stand with parents in the face of political pressure:
No matter what is thrown my way, I will ALWAYS stand with Parents! pic.twitter.com/yUxV9kGvxz
— Kim Reynolds (@KimReynoldsIA) May 27, 2023
The Sioux City Journal reports that, in addition to objections from Democrats and LGBT activists, the measure was opposed by the Iowa State Education Association, the Hawkeye State’s biggest teachers union.
Across the nation, controversy has exploded in recent years over schools and libraries adopting books that attempt to expose sexual themes and activity to children, often in graphic detail and with pornographic imagery depicting specific sex acts. The issue, along with the promotion of ideological messages in taxpayer-funded education, has fueled a parent backlash credited for Republican gains in states like Florida and Virginia, whose current respective governors have taken leading roles in fighting back.
Particularly serious is the prospect of teacher keeping parents in the dark about their children’s bouts of gender confusion, which was grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself after trying to live as a man for three years.