Working for logical solutions to stop the indoctrination and assault on moral values taking place in some of our public schools, in this edition of Freedom Watch.
As many of you are no doubt aware, here in Iowa we have been dealing with certain school districts and some educators that have been engaging in indoctrination of students by teaching Critical Race Theory and LGBT ideology to students as young as elementary age, in defiance of the values of many families in Iowa. As a result, we have passed numerous pieces of legislation to stop this indoctrination. This week, we passed a school transparency bill (HF2577) and sent it to the Senate.
- School districts and teachers are required to post syllabus, textbooks, related core materials and a list of instructional materials to an online portal parents can access.
- Most teachers are already using an online platform and this requirement will be easy to meet for educators, while also providing needed transparency for parents. Schools that do not already have a classroom management software system will have until July 1, 2024, to come into compliance.
- Teachers can update their postings throughout the year. They are required to have all material uploaded by the end of each week. This allows needed flexibility for teachers to provide their students with material on current events, while also finding resources that work best for their students.
- This bill also requires a catalogue of every book in the school library to be available online. A parent can then tell the school if there are any books their child is not allowed to check out.
- The teacher has 14 days to correct any violation. If they do not, a civil penalty will be assessed against the district. The teacher will also be referred to the Board of Educational Examiners for potential sanctions on their license.
Why is transparency necessary?
Inappropriate materials have been found in classrooms and school libraries in Iowa. This is not just in in urban areas, but across Iowa.
As one example, the book Tricks, which contains explicit passages, was recently found in eighty school districts across Iowa. If you would like to read a few passages for yourself, click this link.
The vast majority of Iowans agree that explicit, obscene, and pornographic material do NOT belong in our public schools. Elementary school students should not be taught LGBT ideology and sexually charged terms. A teacher should not use their position to push their political ideology on students. These are not radical or unrealistic expectations and were once understood in our schools. Most of our educators do understand this, but unfortunately, some do not.
We all want to trust our public schools to educate not indoctrinate, but since we know this is happening, we believe that transparency is an important tool in stopping it. Knowledge is power. With this bill, parents will know what their kids are being taught and what books their kids have access to, and if they see things they do not believe are appropriate, they can opt their child out or otherwise challenge questionable material.
In recent discussions I have had with parents, county attorneys and others, the question has arisen as to why County Attorneys are not prosecuting what seems clearly to be pornographic and obscene material. The reason is that federal case law and Supreme Court standards, which are mostly reflected in the language we currently have in code related to pornography and obscenity, make prosecution almost impossible, regardless of what language changes we could make. Therefore, I am collaborating with other representatives to produce what we hope will be a workable solution. Stay tuned.