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Linn-Mar Schools has recently adopted a policy allowing biological boys to use the restrooms, shower facilities, and locker rooms designated for girls and vice-versa. The policy also allows school personnel to document and withhold information from the parents about their child’s desire and actions toward “changing” to the opposite sex. This is likely a violation of FERPA, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in which parents have the right to request and review their child’s student record.

This school’s policy is outrageous and should never happen. Children that struggle with sexual identity confusion should be handled with compassionate care and counseling with the goal of acceptance of the sex they were created to be. This misguided policy will only deepen the sexual identity confusion they already experience and could result in a child suffering a lifetime of damage.

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It also threatens the safety and privacy of the vast majority of the students who do not experience these struggles, not only girls but also boys too. Hiding information about their child from parents is completely unacceptable. Parents expect that when they send their kids off to school they are in a safe and protected environment that includes a transparent relationship between the parents and the school. Parents need to know what is going on with their child at school because they have the ultimate responsibility to care for and guide their child. Parents are the stewards of their children, not the school or the state.

The problem is gender identity is a protected class in Iowa’s civil rights law. We need to remove gender identity as a protected class so schools no longer believe they must allow teaching/promotion of gender identity confusion…in fact it needs to be prohibited. We either need to get rid of gender identity as a protected class or severely limit the reach of the current law so that promoting gender identity confusion is not allowed.

I have co-sponsored bills in past years to remove it from the law. I have also introduced other legislation regarding the bathroom issue-putting protections in place for children-in past years and it has not been taken up. Clearly, action needs to be taken – and sooner rather than later.

In addition, if a good law gets passed, we will need more than enforcement from bureaucrats (which they aren’t normally effective). As is currently happening in some schools, without a certain enforcement mechanism for the current prohibition on teaching critical race theory, some schools simply flaunt the law. It is likely some schools would do that for a prohibition on promoting gender identity confusion as well.

If a good law is put in place, there needs to be a pathway for civil litigation so that parents can bring a lawsuit, and that if the courts find in favor of the parents there will be an injunction and civil penalties. We need effective, parent-driven, targeted enforcement at schools that would violate that law.

Author: Sandy Salmon

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