Five women who say there are dozens of inappropriate books in their local schools are questioning the process of trying to require parental permission before students may have access to some school library books.

The women are members of a group called Moms for Liberty and they were invited to testify at a hearing in the Iowa Capitol tonight. Amy Dea has challenged a book that’s been required reading in a Carroll High School class.

“No student should have access to this filth in their school,” Dea said.

Pam Gronau told lawmakers she believes 55 books in the Urbandale School Library contain “obscene” material. “We have looked up other school districts all across Iowa,” she said, “and there are dozens of inappropriate books found in many of them.”

House Government Oversight Committee chairwoman Brooke Boden, a Republican from Indianola, convened tonight’s hearing. Boden said lawmakers need to make sure Iowa schools “aren’t arming children with pornography…We need to sit down and figure out a way that we can work together with our school administrations and figure out how this does not get into the hands of our children.”

Representative Lindsay James, a Democrat from Dubuque, said there’s been “a reemergence of book challenges” in public schools. “Long before we had Moms for Liberty challenging the Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian, we had the Daughters of the Confederacy…challenging Uncle Tom’s Cabin which aimed to expose the evils of slavery,” James said.

Representative Sean Bagniewski, a Democrat from Des Moines, said his constituents want lawmakers to focus issues like population loss and crumbling infrastructure. “I have not heard from anybody who thinks that the number one priority for the state of Iowa is banning books or going through the school curriculum,” he said.

Governor Kim Reynolds spoke at a Moms for Liberty event last Thursday and said if a book is banned in one school district, state law should require that all other Iowa schools get a parent’s permission before letting a student see it.

Radio Iowa