DES MOINES, IOWA — Controversial books and topics prompted a wave of parents to run for school boards over the past two years, and now some of their complaints could lead to change statewide.
The hearing held at Iowa’s Statehouse Monday started with a warning, lawmakers cautioning about graphic material they planned to discuss.
That same material is what some parents say their children were exposed to in class.
During the hearing, parents discussed their issues with certain language, pornographic nature, obscene material, and explicit images within certain books in school libraries. Reading out loud sections of the literature that discuss sexual arousal and displaying images found in books for the room to see.
Although the group of parents stated that this wasn’t about banning these said books, they did discuss the steps they have taken in their own school districts to have the books reconsidered.
Opponents state that parents should have a right to decide what their individual child is exposed to, and that parents can submit a list to their child’s school library stating which books their children are and aren’t allowed to rent out if they personally deem certain books inappropriate.
Under a bill approved in the House last year, teachers were required to give parents a course syllabus including a summary of materials used. schools were also required to publish a list of books available in the library. At that time the senate did not take up the legislation.
The debate is ongoing this year, and still, nothing is final on how lawmakers plan to increase transparency for parents.