GOP Leaders Lob Accusations At Teachers Of Child Abuse, Indoctrination, Hating America

Screenshot from Moms For Liberty YouTube

By Ty Rushing

February 3, 2023

Iowa Republican lawmakers promised that passing the private school voucher bill was only the beginning of their plan to reshape education and fight against public school “indoctrination” during an event in Des Moines on Thursday.

Moms for Liberty, a Florida-based right-wing organization that has led a nationwide crusade to ban books they don’t approve of, sponsored the event which featured Gov. Kim Reynolds and other state Republican leaders.

When she spoke, Reynolds endorsed several bills moving through the Iowa Legislature including a revamped version of last year’s curriculum bill, a bill to limit the teaching of gender identity, and one that forcibly outs LGBTQ students.

“Think about it. It’s sad that any of this needs to be written into law,” Reynolds said. “Unfortunately, that is where we’re at.”

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Reynolds accused a small but vocal minority of public school teachers of teaching kids to hate America.

“They think patriotism is racist and pornographic library books are education,” Reynolds said, prompting a few people in the crowd to start a “USA” chant.

She also implied those educators were making white children think of themselves as oppressors and Black children think of themselves as oppressed.

“We’ve seen kids taught by trusted adults that they’re either oppressors or they’re being oppressed,” Reynolds said.

The governor also said schools should be free of indoctrination. 

“It is again just a small but loud minority that’s trying to change our education system and indoctrinate our children,” she said.

The indoctrination talking point was also used by other officials at the event.

“I did not serve 20 years in the Marine Corps to watch our country being destroyed and our children being indoctrinated to hate their country,” said Said Rep. Steve Holt (R-Dennison). “And I did not serve or love my country to listen and hear that in the Ames Community School District, second graders are being told they can be a boy or girl, both, neither, or something else; that is child abuse.”

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Holt mentioned some of the legislation moving forward in the Iowa House, including a bill that would allow non-proven accusations of school districts violating Iowa’s divisive concepts law—which can include teaching about forms of racism and sexism—to still face consequences.

Under the bill, parents or students would have the ability to report directly to the state any perceived violation of the divisive concepts law and whether or not it is proven, that allegation would be included in an annual report to the state legislature.

Sen. Sandy Salmon (R-Janesville) also wants to introduce legislation in the Senate chamber to hold schools accountable for teaching critical race theory, which isn’t actually taught in K-12 schools but was used as the basis for creating the divisive concepts law.

“This is nothing more than racism, division, and Marxism being indoctrinated into our kids,” she said. “The process of having the bureaucrats isn’t working and we need parent-driven enforcement.”

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Salmon also wants to pass legislation to ban materials she considers to be sexually suggestive from schools. A number of books that have been lumped as sexually explicit or inappropriate center are penned by authors of color and/or the LGTBQ community, some of which describe their experiences learning about their sexuality, instances of sexual abuse, and experiences with racism.

“You know it’s bad when the only place you’re legally allowed to give porn to a child is in school,” Salmon said. “Porn and child and school don’t even belong in the same sentence. It’s time to take out the trash at school.”


by Ty Rushing

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  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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