Iowa teachers would be required to out many LGBTQ students to their parents regardless of home situations in a new bill introduced this morning by many House Republicans, including Speaker Pat Grassley.
House File 9 aims to prohibit schools and their teachers from “Willfully withholding information from, or knowingly giving false or misleading information to, the parent or guardian of a student regarding the student’s gender identity or intention to transition to a gender that is different than the sex listed on a student’s official birth certificate…”
While Republicans’ stated goal is keeping parents informed, in practice this would mean trusted teachers or other staff must out a student who is grappling with their personal identity. There is no mention in the bill about consulting with school counselors or considering what the home situation of students might be. This would lead to many situations of young Iowa students being forced to reveal their LGBTQ identity to possibly unsupportive families before they are ready.
Other aspects of the bill would also prohibit schools from affirming or recognizing a student’s preferred gender identity in school without written consent from their parents.
And it addresses a fear among Republicans that there is a widespread issue with educators encouraging students to undergo gender change operations.
“Encouraging, pressuring, or coercing a student to undergo any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention that is designed to affirm the student’s gender identity if that gender identity is different than the sex listed on a student’s official birth certificate [would be prohibited],” the bill reads.
The bill reflects the broader Republican Party’s renewed obsession with LGBTQ children and their efforts to surveil and censor their behavior.
“It only took the Iowa Legislature three days to release an unrelenting attack on LGBTQ youth,” said Becky Tayler, the executive director for Iowa Safe Schools, in a statement. “HF 9 will put LGBTQ youth directly in harm’s way and create a legal and administrative nightmare for school administrators.”
The bill’s concerns reflect a recent situation in the Linn-Mar school district, where Gov. Kim Reynolds and Rep. Ashley Hinson personally intervened after the district introduced a policy aimed at making LGBTQ students feel more accepted and safe in school.
by Pat Rynard
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