A committee in the Iowa House is considering a bill that would require parental permission for students to attend an annual statewide conference for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
Representative Greg Heartsill, a Republican from Columbia, says the bill would require parental permission slips for any conference or seminar where “human growth and development information is provided.”
“It’s just giving parents more opportunity to make an informed decision on whether or not they want their kids to participate in subject matter that can be very sensitive,” Heartsill says.
Heartsill has been leading a House Government Oversight Committee investigation of complaints about inappropriate content at the annual conference for LGBTQ youth.
“If it’s not on school time, you know, that’s a different matter,” Heartsill says. “But this is on school time and parents should be given information on what’s being presented.”
Critics say the bill is unnecessary because schools already get parental permission slips for student trips to the conference. Other say the bill could prevent some kids from attending the conference and finding support from other students who are bullied because they’re different.