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This week I chaired a subcommittee hearing for SF 83, a bill I’ve introduced that is co-sponsored by 15 of my Senate colleagues.  It would establish that curriculum used for K-8 grade levels shall not include instruction relating to gender identity.  I gave expanded time—an hour instead of the usual half-hour—so both supporters and opponents of the bill could be more fully heard on this important and multifaceted topic.

The bill is a common-sense proposal.  Is the teaching of gender identity, a controversial concept that sparks wide and strong disagreement among Iowans, necessary for basic curriculum?  No.  Is it beneficial?  I don’t think so.  Gender identity disorder (renamed “gender dysphoria” in 2013) has been politicized and has morphed into an ideological movement.  Given this context, I believe that this topic would not be taught with fact-based neutrality but rather serve as a type of indoctrination and recruitment for the movement.

Driven by the “woke” corporate world, including news and entertainment media, the transgender movement has attracted every elite part of society to its bandwagon.  This includes the educational establishment.  Unfortunately, even science—both natural (biology) and behavioral (psychology)—has been politicized since 2015 so recent data cannot be taken at face value or viewed as an objective analysis of reality.

Contrary to allegations made by those who are fearful of the proposed law, nothing in this bill would prevent children from treating one another kindly or talking with school counselors.  Nothing would prevent efforts to stop bullying.

Bullying is an age-old problem but it’s wrong in every way, and school administrators and conscientious classmates should do all they can to prevent it.  It makes it even worse when young people who are alienated from their own bodies and frustrated with culturally-constructed gender norms are bullied.  Perhaps even more than the average student, they need empathy and support—in both a loving and truthful way.

No child in Iowa deserves to be treated with anything other than respect.  However, this does not mean that adults must affirm everything that a child believes.  That is putting too much responsibility on the shoulders of children and is irresponsible on the part of adults.

Author: Jeff Taylor



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