Republican legislators in Iowa have introduced their version of a “don’t say gay” bill, largely mimicking the one that became law in Florida last year, and a bill that would essentially out transgender and nonbinary students to their parents.House File 8, introduced Wednesday, would prohibit instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
House File 9, introduced the same day, would bar schools from making accommodations for a student’s gender identity, if different from the one assigned at birth, without the written consent of a parent or guardian.
It also says school staff must not encourage students to undergo gender-affirming care or pressure their parents into allowing them to receive it.House File 9 is partly a reaction to policies like that in Iowa’s Linn-Mar Community School District, which allows students to set up a gender support plan without giving notice to their parents, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reports.
Parents Defending Education, a right-wing group, has filed a lawsuit against the policy.“We need to empower parents,” House Speaker Pat Grassley, a Republican who cosponsored both bills, told The Gazette. “In our opinion, that’s what the goal of these [bills] are, making sure conversations are happening with children and their parents, instead of happening in the school system.