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Lawmakers debate LGBTQ policies in schools

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Should parents have to consent when their kids use a different name or different pronouns than they use at home?

Several bills are currently advancing at the statehouse focusing on LGBTQ issues and education. On this episode of River to River, a supporter of a bill that would require parental consent to affirm a student’s gender identity shares her perspective, as does an opponent. Then, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle discuss this proposal and another having to do with gender identity as a part of instruction.


  • Sam Fett, mother and Moms for Liberty representative
  • Andy Sutton, mother, teacher and Gay-Straight Alliance club sponsor at Des Moines Schools
  • Rep. Sharon Steckman, D-Mason City, former educator and member of the House Education Committee
  • Rep. Skyler Wheeler, R-Hull, co-sponsor of bills relating to gender identity in schools
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Grant Gerlock is a reporter covering Des Moines and central Iowa
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio