Student walkouts planned statewide in protest of proposed ‘anti-LGBTQ+ legislation’
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Students at Iowa Public Schools are planning a walkout on Wednesday in order to protest a series of bills in the Iowa Legislature relating to LGBTQ+ students.
According to the Des Moines Register, walkouts are planned at 14 school districts including those in Johnston, Ankeny, Ames, West Des Moines, Storm Lake, Des Moines, Waukee, Marion, Urbandale, Iowa City, Fort Dodge, Bettendorf, and Iowa State University.
Linn Mar announced a group of its students will walk out at 3:23 pm to Linn-Marr stadium for the protest. Linn Mar Student & Spectrum President Dani Kallas released the following statement:
Transgender students just want to go to school and learn in a supportive environment like any other student. But bills in the Iowa legislature threaten their very identity and deny these kids the ability to go to school with dignity and respect, regardless of who they are and how they identify.
Students shouldn’t have to worry about much other than getting a good education and growing with their peers, but if these new bills pass they will be forced to worry about if their teachers will use their preferred names and pronouns and be allowed to tell other students why they need to use that name and those pronouns.
Some will worry about their parents finding out they identify as transgender even though they didn’t feel safe telling their parents. They won’t see themselves represented in the media they are introduced to at school. Students will have to fight twice as hard to get their name changed and their gender support system implemented, all because certain legislators want to interfere and silence kids who don’t fit the labels they agree with.
Education should be about the student.
Iowa City Schools sent the following message to its students’ families:
Dear Families and Staff,
We have been made aware of a potential student protest scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The protest is being organized in response to the proposed legislation at the state level viewed to be harmful to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC students in Iowa.
We honor our students’ right to protest and right to free speech; however, we expect that students will notify their parents if they plan to participate in events of this nature that include leaving school property. We will work to ensure that those who choose to participate in the protest are able to do so in a way that creates minimal disruption to the learning environment.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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