Parents who appreciate controversial books speak out as lawmakers discuss ‘parents’ rights’ bill

DES MOINES, Iowa — Parents’ rights to their children’s education have been a widely discussed topic at school board meetings, and now it’s being discussed at the Statehouse.

A bill outlining what those specific rights would entail has been introduced in the Iowa Senate.

We’ve heard the arguments against the materials. Now parents who appreciate controversial books are speaking out.

“Having a group of parents choose which books are available to all students is not where we should be going. It’s dangerous,” said Alison Reinhardt.

Reinhardt served on the book review committee when Urbandale schools were considering controversial books. She has two children who attend the district and she is worried.

“Do parents absolutely have to be involved in the education of their children? 100% but there are a lot of really dangerous words being thrown around and it speaks to an intolerance of things that you may not agree with but are real and exist,” Reinhardt said. .

Republican state Sen. Amy Sinclair, who is sponsoring the bill, said her efforts have been misinterpreted.

“What this bill doesn’t do is ban a book. What this bill does not do is defame a teacher,” Sinclair said. “What this bill doesn’t do is prevent schools from teaching uncomfortable things. But what it does do is put a parent in control of what their child is ultimately exposed to in our tax-funded education system.

Still, Democratic leaders are unconvinced.

“We are concerned about this idea that we are going to exclude teachers from the whole teaching process. Democrats believe we need to involve parents, not exclude teachers,” said Democratic State Sen. Zach Wahls.

The bill is scheduled for subcommittee discussion on Wednesday, and Reinhardt hopes his views will be considered.

“Our group talks about how we reach out, voice our opinions in a respectful way that allows for conversation and problem solving,” Reinhardt said. “Being part of the solution and not trying to create a hateful dialogue.”

Reinhardt urges parents if they have any opinions on this to contact their representatives and their local school district.

About Stuart M. McFarland

Check Also

Four Personal Finance Books That Experts Favorite

If you want to learn more about personal finance or money, there are hundreds of …