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Republicans launch cruel bid to ban teachers from talking about trans people

Maggie Baska February 11, 2021
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(Envato Elements)

Republicans in Iowa have proposed a bill that would ban schools and teachers from talking about transgender people.

The bill, proposed by eight Republican lawmakers in Iowa, would update elementary school curriculum standards in the state to say the “curriculum provided to a student in accordance with this subsection shall now include instruction relating to gender identity”.

The ban, known as SF 167, says that teachers will need to get written permission from all students’ parents first if they are to discuss gender identity in school. 

The bill doesn’t block schools from talking about the concept of gender at all. Instead, it requires that educators not discuss the idea that there is a “gender-related identity of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth”, that is, that trans people exist.

Trans kids are under attack in Iowa.

Peyton Downing, an opinions columnist for the Daily Iowan, wrote that the proposed bills in the Iowa Senate and House “would, without a doubt, harm every transgender youth in our state”. Downing listed four bills, including SF 167, which directly target trans people in Iowa. 

HF 187 would allow schools in Iowa to deny transgender people the right to use the bathroom, lockers and living facilities that align with their gender identity. Instead, they would have to use the facilities of their assigned gender at birth. 

HF 184 would deny the right for trans athletes to compete in sports teams which align with their gender identity. It’s one of many bills proposed throughout the US which discriminate against trans athletes in sports. 

SF 80 would force any school that has a student request different pronouns to inform the student’s parents or guardians of the decision, effectively outing the child without their consent. 

In the article for the Daily Iowan, Downing wrote SF 167 is “just another way to prevent children from learning about how they may differ from societal norms”. She said: “By denying an education on gender identity, these schools prevent kids from garnering an understanding of who they really are.

“We already teach kids about puberty and sex (albeit in an abstract way), so why would we not also teach them about gender? 

“To a young trans kid, that information could mean the difference between self-hatred and loathing for a decade or being able to understand who they are.”

Utah is the latest state to propose a ban on trans athletes in sports.

Elsewhere, Utah senator Mike Lee is reportedly proposing a bill that would ban trans girls from playing in women’s sports that school. Lee, along with 13 other Republicans, introduced the bill last week. He said the ban would protect “opportunities of girls throughout America to athletically compete against other girls.”

Senator Mitt Romney came out in favour of the bill during the Senate committee meeting. He said: “I’ve got pictures of my eight granddaughters amongst grandsons behind me. 

“They shouldn’t be competing with people who are physiologically in an entirely different category.”

Related topics: Republicans, Trans

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