Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has signed bills that prohibit elementary school teachers from giving lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation.
The newly signed bills also prohibit non-religious books depicting sexual acts from school libraries and requires schools to notify parents if a student requests people use pronouns or names that do not match what is on their birth certificates.
The new law on instruction is similar to Florida’s original Parental Rights in Education Act and only applies to kindergarten through sixth grade.
The bill was opposed by every Democrat in the state legislature, according to a report from The Hill. Their efforts to block the bills were fruitless as Republicans hold strong majorities in both the state House and Senate.
Parent approval will also be required before schools can administer surveys to students on topics including mental health, sex, and political affiliation.
“This legislative session, we secured transformational education reform that puts parents in the driver’s seat, eliminates burdensome regulations on public schools, provides flexibility to raise teacher salaries, and empowers teachers to prepare our kids for their future,” Gov. Reynolds said in a press release about the bills. “Education is the great equalizer and everyone involved – parents, educators, our children – deserves an environment where they can thrive.”
Opponents of the legislation claimed that it is an attack on the LGBTQ community, while Republicans argued that the new laws are common sense and will protect children.
In March, Gov. Reynolds signed bills that ban biological males from competing on girls’ sports teams and prohibited sex change procedures for minors.