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For over two months I have been working with the Governor’s office and the House on the Parents’ Rights and School Transparency bill. As the chairman of the Senate Education committee and floor manager of this bill, it was rewarding for me to successfully debate and pass Senate File 496. I wrote about this extensively in my March 2 newsletter.Parents continue to send examples of explicit materials available to their young students, some of which is unbelievably graphic and deviant in nature. Parents are naturally unnerved by that content and believe the delicate topics of gender and sexuality are best taught in the home. Sexual development and sexually explicit content are properly determined to be issues explained in the context of the moral and religious beliefs of Iowa families. This bill, which the Senate passed on Wednesday, has no book bans, no implementation of speech codes, and the wildly exaggerated claims of censorship also do not exist in this bill. SF 496 simply implements common sense. It is completely reasonable for sexually explicit content to be unavailable to elementary students in their taxpayer-funded school. It is completely reasonable to ensure parents are informed of their children’s activities in school, especially on an issue as sensitive as gender identity. It is also completely reasonable to prohibit discussions of gender identity and sexual activity to kindergartners and elementary students. A Democrat on the floor of the Senate actually said this, “There are some things parents shouldn’t have access to.” Instead of hiding information from parents, in SF 496 Senate Republicans have enshrined the concept of parental rights into Iowa law. This principle has appeared in state judicial rulings for nearly a century, and it is now one step closer to being in Iowa law. Parents bear the ultimate and fundamental responsibility for the upbringing of their child and parents must have the ability to guide their education, moral and religious upbringing, and the preparation for their future.