“Censorship is un-American,” according to the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) and every sane citizen of the United States. As always with the book “ban” myth tellers, however, Iowa’s teachers union is pretending that protecting children from sexually explicit content is censorship. In fact, the teachers union argues that the First Amendment guarantees children access to pornographic books “without unreasonable government interference.”

Earlier this year, Iowa enacted a law, Senate File 496, that encourages schools to provide students with “age-appropriate” materials. The law states that “‘Age-appropriate’ does not include any material with descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act.” The law also prohibits instruction on gender identity or sexual orientation for elementary grades.

The Iowa teachers union, along with Penguin Random House and four authors, recently filed a lawsuit challenging Senate File 496. While the union pleasantly proclaims to parents that, “You have the freedom to choose what’s right for you and your children,” it is clear that Iowa’s teachers union does not support parental rights. The lawsuit argues on behalf of authors, claiming that they “have the right to communicate their stories and ideas to the public, including students.”  Although the union claims that they are “placing students at the center of everything,” their lawsuit seeks to provide children with explicit and age-inappropriate books, definitely not something parents desire.

The teachers union and authors certainly can recommend revisions to the Iowa law if they are concerned about specific provisions. The lawsuit, however, is clearly a publicity stunt designed to perpetuate the “banned” books narrative, rather than a sincere effort to ensure that students are provided with rich and diverse literature.

To learn more about how teachers unions advocate for sexually explicit books and promote gender ideology, read Teachers’ Unions Pretend To Promote FreedomFACT CHECK: Should Young Children Be Protected From ‘Gender-Affirming’ Books?FACT CHECK: Do Children Need To Be Protected From Sexually Explicit Books?, and FACT CHECK: Can Schools Withhold Information From Parents About Gender Identity Surveys?.

For more information about teachers unions, visit www.iwf.org/issues/education/