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Originally published June 26 – The most popular story of 2021 at The Iowa Standard

A middle-teen biological female was allowed to walk around the Pella Aquatic Center topless and use the men’s locker rooms with grown men and boys of all ages, exposing her breasts because she identified as a male.


The incident happened on June 16. According to two people at the aquatic center, the incident did indeed happen and the aquatic center policy allows it to happen.

The assistant manager told The Iowa Standard the policy says that anyone can wear the clothing necessary in line with their gender identity rather than biological sex. The policy is set by the city council, according to the aquatic center’s assistant manager.

“When brought to the facility’s attention, they explained there was nothing they could do,” said one concerned Pella resident. “That state law protects this biological female, allowing her to walk around indecently exposing herself to all the families enjoying the facility. The facility is afraid if they act and require her to cover herself, they will face legal backlash. I find it appalling that this would actually be state law.”

In addition to concerns for the young children who are exposed to this, as well as the men and boys, the resident said it is dangerous for the young minor girl to expose herself to dangers.

“If someone were to take a picture, it wouldn’t be viewed as some boy at the pool in his swim shorts,” the resident said. “It would be a topless photo of a biological female and it would be child pornography.”

The resident said this isn’t the only incident.

“There have also been several incidents where a biological female, with full biological genitalia, has tried urinating in the urinal, fully exposed, next to the boys in the boys’ bathrooms at public high schools in Pella,” the resident said. “Where does this stop? Am I going to have to worry if a man identifies as a gorilla and shows up at the store with nothing on, but because that’s what makes him feel normal, we’re supposed to accept that?”

***The Pella Community School District said this information is “not accurate.”

“Misinformation such as this has potential to cause distress to all who are involved,” wrote Danielle Bortscheller, Pella Community School District Public Relations Coordinator. “The Pella Community School District strives to ensure that all students feel safe and supported, regardless of gender, religion, race, etc. The high school has designated two restrooms in the building as non-gender specific. There have not been ‘several incidents’ where transgender students have ‘tried urinating in the urinal, fully exposed, next to the boys in the boys’ bathroom.'”***

The Iowa Standard has contacted the city manager of Pella as well as the council members. We’re waiting to hear from them.

For what it is worth, the Pella Aquatic Center General Rules are available online. They state:

“The Pella Aquatic Center is a family-friendly facility. Inappropriate behavior, language, or attire are not permitted and will be grounds for refusing admission or removal from the facility without a refund.”

A search of the rules for the terms “gender” and “identity” yielded zero results.


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