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After Monday’s subcommittee on House File 2154, The Iowa Standard was able to ask Rep. Gary Mohr (R-Bettendorf) about the bill.

The legislation requires schools to provide “age-appropriate” and “research-based” instruction in child sexual abuse and child sexual assault awareness and prevention. The instruction is to begin in kindergarten and Pre-K in districts that offer Pre-K programs.

The Iowa Standard’s first question was whether this is something Planned Parenthood could provide the curriculum for.

“Well, you’ll note in the legislation, it talks about the Director of the Department of Education,” Mohr said. “So, the Department of Education will primarily be responsible for enforcing this provision if it’s passed by the Legislature.”

There were some brief conversations about amending the bill to allow for parents to opt-in or opt-out, but Melissa Peterson the Iowa State Education Association warned against that policy, saying parents could opt-out the kids who need the education most.

When asked how parents could monitor this topic being taught to preschoolers, Mohr said they simply need to communicate with the school.

“I would think it’s like every other issue in education,” he said. “Those discussions ought to be occurring between the parents and the local school district.”

Author: Jacob Hall