“Don’t Say Gay” bill introduced by Iowa Republican leaders

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illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Iowa Republican House leaders have proposed two classroom bills that could force teachers to “out” certain LGBT students, according to advocacy groups, as well as prohibit teachers from providing LGBT-related materials to students in grades 3 and younger.

Breaking news: House File 8 restricts school staff from providing “any instruction” about gender identity and sexual orientation in K-3 classrooms.

The second bill, House File 9, prohibits school staff from “affirming” the student’s gender identity and preferred pronoun if it is different from their birth certificate, unless the teacher has written approval from the student’s mother. It applies to students at all grade levels.

What they’re saying: Republican Rep. Skyler Wheeler, who chairs the House Education Committee, told the Iowa Capital Dispatch that House File 9 will help parents stay informed.

The other side: House File 8 puts transgender students in danger if teachers are forced to “out” them, especially if they have unsafe home environments or are kicked out of the house, said Damian Thompson of Iowa Safe Schools, an LGBT youth. group.

Between the lines: The two bills are the first few filed by House Republicans this session, which shows they are priorities.

Zooming out: A very similar “Don’t Say Gay” bill last year in Florida and another proposed in Texas this session.

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