DES MOINES, IOWA — State Senator Jake Chapman (R) helped pass his bill, Senate File 2198, through the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Thursday.
In a heated discussion between lawmakers, parents and advocates; the bill made it through after over an hour of debate. The legislation would enforce laws that are currently in place but create a mechanism where parents could bring material they think is obscene to a judge.
“The legislation allows a judge to make a determination if that is pornographic. If it is pornographic the school has an opportunity to remove it without further cause of action,” said Senate President Chapman. “But if they choose not to then it allows the parents to seek and to go after the school or county attorney who is not filing the charges.”
The bill would allow parents to file lawsuits against teachers and administrative officials as well; something that is not currently worded in law. The democrat who sits on the judiciary subcommittee explains that even if this bill is not passed, it is still harmful to have this type of legislation thrown around.
“He is the leader of their party,” said State Senator Janet Petersen (D) from Des Moines. “They have chosen to put him in power, they have chosen to pursue a toxic, divisive, culture war agenda. They have the power to fix it.”
A parent who attended the subcommittee has kids who are currently in a school district in Chapman’s legislative district. She shared her thoughts on the bill.
“To say that these books are promoting pedophilia and sexual abuse is ridiculous,” said Nancy Miller.
Speaker of the House Pat Grassley commented on the bill during a press conference on Thursday. He differentiated the House’s take on this type of legislation being passed versus Chapman’s.
“I don’t want anyone to take away that is something that has a broad level of support, I think it is a little more isolated from that standpoint,” said State Representative Pat Grassley (R) from New Hartford.
Grassley highlighted that he wanted more transparency for parents in their children’s education, but not to the full extent of Chapman’s bill.