DES MOINES, Iowa — Senate File 496 was a highly debated bill when it passed through the Iowa Legislature last session; and it left school districts wanting more guidance from the state.
The law says if literature has any “sex act”, as defined in Iowa law, then it will be taken out of school libraries and curriculum.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds addressed school districts having books taken off shelves, and responded to people questioning how the law should be applied.
“Our kids and our teachers deserve better. They deserve the tools to help these kids succeed,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “Not a damn distraction on a nasty pornographic book that should never, ever be in a classroom.”
Reynolds made the remarks at a press conference on Wednesday morning. Prior to these remarks, Reynolds read what “sex act” is defined as under Iowa law.
Back in late July, before the school year, the Urbandale Community School District removed almost 400 books off of school shelves out of concern for the new penalty system in Senate File 496. The district narrowed down the list to 65 books just days later.
Reynolds called the big book removal lists a distraction.
“I don’t remember this actually being in any of the classical books that I may have read when I was in school,” said Reynolds. “…And I think it’s pretty clear. And if they can’t distinguish that then, I don’t know. Maybe we ought to take a look at what they should be dealing with. So it’s just a distraction and they’re trying. They don’t like it and so they’re blowing it out of proportion. It’s simple. The words are clear. Follow the law.”