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Education has certainly taken center stage in the Iowa House during the first six weeks of session. This week, the education committee passed a bill that has gotten a lot of attention, House File 8. This bill has been misconstrued and accused of having consequences that are not actually in the bill. So let’s dig into the details here.

Why the need for House File 8?

This bill prohibits any classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in K-6th grade and at any age that is not age appropriate.

We send our kids to school to learn subjects like reading, writing, math and science. This bill will allow teachers to use their classroom time on those topics and leave discussions on social issues to the parents. We want to let kids be kids, and allow them to grow into themselves without indoctrination in schools.

Quite simply, teachers should teach and parents should parent.

What does House File 8 do?

  • Prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in K-6th grade.
  • Prohibits classroom instruction on gender identity or sexual orientation in a manner that is not age appropriate in any grade.
  • Allows teachers to stick to curriculum on school subjects like reading, writing, math and science, while leaving the responsibility to discuss social issues to the parents.

What does House File 8 NOT do?

  • This bill does not ban sex education. State guidelines on sexual education curriculum remain in code and this bill does not change or affect those guidelines.
  • This bill does not stop any instruction providing information to students to prevent sexual abuse. Schools can provide students with necessary information such as safe touches vs unsafe touches without getting into gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • This bill does not ban books that contain LGBTQ characters.
  • This bill does not prevent a teacher in a same-sex marriage from talking about or displaying photos of their spouse.
  • This bill does not prevent students from discussing these topics themselves.

This bill does not allow for bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity. All current bullying policies apply.

Author: Pat Grassley


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