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This week a second hearing was held regarding inappropriate books in our public school libraries. In its first hearing, the Govt. Oversight committee heard five Iowa moms share their experience challenging books in their child’s school library or curriculum that were not age appropriate.  Its second meeting this week featured the administrators from those districts to explain their side of the book review process and what led their district to either leave or pull the books.

Democrats have dismissed the sexual nature of this material, entirely ignoring the actual content. We are talking about explicit images and extremely graphic passages of sexual acts.  If you find yourself skeptical that this material could possibly be in Iowa schools, please take the time to investigate and view the passages and images from these three examples.

Let’s Talk About It contains sexually explicit illustrations with instructions, tips and suggestions on how to perform various sex acts along with masturbation.  The book also suggests safe ways to consume porn.  Gender Queer contains graphic illustrations of oral sex between an under age male and an adult male.  Push contains detailed and disturbing instances of incest and sexual molestation. There is no context that would call for this material to belong in a public school.

Parents should not have to weed through every book in their child’s school library to know that their child isn’t being exposed to content that is not age appropriate. This material shouldn’t be there in the first place.  House Republicans are working on an effective legislative solution to rid schools of inappropriate material and give parents a clear and efficient path to challenge a book they don’t think belongs.

Images or descriptions of explicit sexual acts are not a necessary component in efforts to be “inclusive” or “diverse”. Schools can find books that contain diverse characters, tell diverse stories, and connect with a diverse audience without these sexually explicit portions that are not age appropriate and don’t belong in schools. We are not suggesting taking away any parents’ right to give their own child any of these books. These books would still be available for purchase and at the public library. They just don’t belong in schools.

This week, House Republicans moved House File 368 forward to create additional protections for landowners as three major CO2 pipeline projects are in the works in Iowa. This bill requires carbon capture pipeline companies to reach voluntary easements for 90% of the land on their route before they could seek to use eminent domain.  It also grants landowners the right to sue companies for damages caused by pipelines to things like drainage, soil compaction and irrigation systems. And it requires CO2 pipeline companies to get all necessary permits in other states before attempting to use eminent domain in Iowa.

This bill has passed subcommittee and is still making its way through the process. Many of the ideas in the current language were brought to the legislature by the Iowa Farm Bureau.  I understand that this bill may not be seen as perfect by folks on either side of this issue. We want to support the ethanol industry while ensuring landowners rights are respected. We think this bill strikes that balance.

Author: Dean Fisher


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