Lawmakers in Iowa passed a bill this week that will not allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their “gender identity.”
Iowa’s Senate File 482 would require individuals to only use school restrooms and changing facilities that align with their biological sex. Students who want to use a bathroom that does not align with their biological sex would be required to obtain parental consent and use a faculty or single-occupancy restroom.
Republicans who supported the bill highlighted that the policies are necessary to protect the privacy and safety of the students, the Des Moines Register noted. The legislation outlines that this kind of policy “shall not be an unfair or discriminatory practice,” as some “woke” schools allow transgender students to use restrooms that align with their gender identity to avoid being “discriminatory.”
“This legislation is fair to everyone because it bases the use of bathrooms on what it has, up until recently, always been based upon: biology," said state Rep. Steven Holt, a Republican, told the outlet. "That applies to everyone equally.”
Holt added that the legislation is a preventative measure for the state of Iowa, explaining that "countless parents" had expressed concerns about the issue.
"I'm not interested in waiting until a child is raped in a restroom by someone pretending to be transgender," Holt told the Register.
Democrats, on the other hand, argued that the bill puts the safety of the transgender students at risk of harassment.
Earlier this month, Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C. introduced a bill called H.R. 5, known as the “Parents Bill of Rights,” meant to protect parental involvement in their children’s education. At a ceremony for the bill at the United States Capitol, Scott Smith, a father who made headlines last year after he was removed from a Loudoun County school board meeting to speak out about the fact that his daughter was sexually assaulted by “a boy wearing a skirt” in a girls’ school bathroom, gave remarks.
“I’m here today as a father and a taxpayer,” Smith said at the event. “I want a future where our children are safe at school and not sexualized, politicized or radicalized.”
“Eighteen months ago I was arrested at a Loudoun County school board meeting. I was restrained, tackled and charged with disorderly conduct and slandered in the media across the world. But my real crime was voicing my concerns as a parent and standing up for my family and my community,” he said. “I went to the school board meeting to speak up for my daughter and to get some answers that we deserved. Instead of putting her safety and the safety of other students first, the Loudoun County school board tried to hide the facts and protect their administrators at all costs. We now know that three girls were attacked by the same now-convicted sexual predator.”
Smith added that the school board has still refused to take accountability for its actions in response to the incident.
“This is an insult to every parent in the district,” he said. “It disrupts the trust we have and keeps the community from healing. No family deserves to be treated this way. Parents deserve answers.”