The Iowa Standard is revisiting some of the things we heard at the Capitol regarding education issues during the 2019 Iowa legislative session.
Representative Sandy Salmon (R-Janesville) filed a bill in 2019 that would’ve required parents to opt their children in for sex education. Current law allows parents to opt out.
While Republicans argued the bill strengthened parental rights in education, Democrats stood against it.
Most lobbyists also spoke against the bill. Jamie Burch of Planned Parenthood said it isn’t necessary and could leave some students out if they forget permission slips or parents aren’t available to sign permission slips.
Abigail Nelson of One Iowa Action worried that if students didn’t receive the information from school, they’d turn to friends and the Internet.
Representative Ruth Ann Gaines (D-Des Moines) said if parents have issues with their children receiving sex education from school, then they shouldn’t have their kids in public school.
“If you have enrolled your child in public education, then you are in agreement with rules approved by the Department of Education,” she said. “If you have, to me, a narrow perspective on what it is that your child should be exposed to, you would go to homeschooling or private schooling where you wouldn’t have to worry about it.
“If you’re going to go to the extreme to have every child’s parent give some kind of opening for a child to take it, then I don’t think they need to be in public school. They can be somewhere else.”