Dear CWA of Iowa Members,
We are writing to update you on S.F. 345 known as the bullying prevention bill. We’ve been working with legislators for some time in hopes of keeping this bill off the House Floor. However, today Democrats in the House called for a Rule 60 in an attempt to force the anti-parent bully bill to the Floor for a vote. With some Republicans absent and, unfortunately, with four Republicans (Megan Jones (R-District 2), Josh Byrnes (R-District 51), Ron Jorgensen (R-District 6), and Quentin Stanerson (R-District 95) voting alongside Democrats, the measure failed 45-50.
CWA would never advocate the mistreatment of anyone and supports the return of the Golden Rule to the classroom, but we cannot support the removal of local control and the many vast anti-family and unconstitutional ramifications of this particular piece of legislation. Plus, studies have shown peer-on-peer victimization often increases in districts with anti-bullying programs.
Even with the best of intentions, this is misplaced compassion that will place many more at risk than it ever helps. S.F. 345 erodes local and parental control, enlarges the student data collection database, expands legislative control and more.
Currently, there are lobbyists on behalf of Gov. Terry Branstad and education organizations working hard to try to gain support and pass this bill.
Your voice is needed to represent the families of Iowa who want to retain parental authority by opposing this bill. To be successful in blocking this bill, we will need your help.
Schools would be allowed to monitor personal student electronic communications on private devices and private applications like e-mail and social networking while they are on private family property or at private family events without the 4th Amendment protection of a warrant (p. 1 lines 29-32).
Schools would be allowed to negate parental authority over their child’s behaviors at private events and locations (including the home) by being allowed to both discipline the children once they are back at school for those behaviors as well as bypass parents and report them to legal and bureaucratic authorities without parental notification or engagement (p. 2 lines 18-23, 34-35 & p. 3 lines 1-2).
Schools would be allowed to hide instances of harassment and bullying from both sets of parents – the accused and the victim – if the school believes the parental notification would subject either child to rejection, abuse or neglect (p. 2 lines 11-15).
Schools and the Iowa Department of Education would be taking on a larger role with no additional funding, so budgets will be challenged. With this increased authority will come more responsibility and potentially greater liability to the districts.
Our greatest reasons for asking for your support are in bullet points as follows:
- Will cause an extra burden to district administration at an extra cost
- Will increase bureaucracy and limit local control
- Will expand school authority off school grounds
- Will potentially expose school districts to increased liability
- Will allow schools to cover up bullying by not notifying parents of either the victim or the alleged perpetrator
- Will further erode parental authority
- Will allow referral to outside agencies without parental consent
- Will allow for additional data collection and expand legislative control over local school districts
- Will violate families’ and students’ privacy
If you would like a more detailed explanation of the faults in this bill, we recommend that you read Concerns Over Anti-Bullying Legislation by Heather Stancil.
Pray: Please pray for our leaders to have discernment and wisdom as they look at this bill and that God will open their eyes to see that schools will be usurping authority from the family.
Take Action Today!
- Please e-mail or call all Iowa House members and state why you are against the bill and ask them to vote “NO” on S.F.345.
- Register an opinion with the Governor’s office by calling 515-281-5211 and/or click here to use the online tool.
- Forward this e-mail to like-minded friends, family and acquaintances. Encourage them to pray, take action and encourage others to do the same.
- If your time is limited be sure to at least contact your representative and the House leadership. Click here to find out who your representative is and how to contact them. House Leadership: Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-District 67)([email protected] / 515-281-3221) and Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (R-District 54) ([email protected] / 515-281-3221).
Thank you for “standing in the gap” with CWA and the families of Iowa.