Sunday, 7 February 2010


HF 2291, recently introduced into the Iowa State Legislature:

1 An Act relating to protected traits or characteristics of
2 students under public and nonpublic school harassment and
3 bullying prohibitions and policies.

1 1 Section 1. Section 280.28, subsection 2, paragraph c, Code
1 2 2009, is amended to read as follows:
1 3 c. "Trait or characteristic of the student" includes but
1 4 is not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race,
1 5 religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender
1 6 identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or
1 7 disability, ancestry, political party preference, political
1 8 belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.
1 10 This bill strikes sexual orientation and gender identity
1 11 from the definition of the term "trait or characteristic of the
1 12 student" used for purposes of protecting students in public and
1 13 nonpublic schools from harassment and bullying.

Yes, they genuinely do want to de-criminalise the harrassment and bullying of Trans, Intersexed, and GLB kids in schools. To remove existing protections from a 2007 law.

House Representatives Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig and Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, co-sponsored this legislation. Feel free to contact them to give them your thanks.

Jason Scultz:

DOB: 11/27/1972
Spouse: Amy
Occupation: Farmer
House District 55


Home Address:
18 Valley View Circle
Schleswig, Iowa 51461

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 70, Schleswig, IA, 51461

Home/Work Phone: 712-676-2109
Capitol Telephone: 515-281-3221

Matt Windschitl

DOB: 12/30/1983
Spouse: Ivelisse
House District 56


222 West Huron
Missouri Valley, Iowa 51555

Home Phone: 712-642-4334

Personal data courtesy of the Iowa House Republicans. Perhaps you should thank them too, and let them know just exactly what you think of this imaginative proposal.


Tamara Jeanne said...

What I what I'd like to know is what is rationalization and reasoning behind the introduction of this bill? I can't think of any reasons other then homophobia, transphobia, bigotry and because the Bible tells me so. LGBT children are the most bullied group in school, they should and need to be protected from the life long harm that bullying causes.

As a IS/TS/TG person I know all to well the harm that bullying can to a child. I grew up in a small town in South Dakota less then an hour drive from Iowa. I had to face a major amount of bullying during the 60's and early 70's. Some of it was from a couple of teachers (one who latter turned out to be a pedophile). All just because I was different, I liked playing with dolls, stuffed animals, toy trucks and toy trains equally. One teacher/gym coach subjected me to humiliation in front of entire gym class when this was found out. I still bear the pain of the emotional scars from the bullying that I was subjected to back them. Looking back I’m surprised that I didn’t end up committing suicide like far to many LGBT youth have.

Historically Iowa has been one of the more progressive states when its come to LGBT rights, being one of the 1st states to pass a gender identity inclusive non-discrimination law several years ago. Passage of this bill would be a step backwards and subject this group of children to needless harm. I hope that this bill dies a quick death and never comes to a vote.

Justine Valinotti said...

Are Messrs. Scultz and Windshchitl really trying to make themselves seem like homo- and trans-phobes? Specifically removing language relating to LGBT people makes it seem so. Don't they realize the people of Iowa--most of them, anyway--have a "live and let live" philosophy? And, as Tamara Jeanne pointed out, they've been in the vanguard of LGBT legislation.

I, too, was bullied and harassed until I was in high school. The only thing that stopped it was my participation in sports--specifically, soccer and wrestling. One of the wrestling coaches--who was also a football coach--used to taunt me over what he believed my sexuality to be. So did my other teammates. But the other kids left me alone.

People like Scultz and Widschitl would probably tell kids to "butch up" or "toughen up." What kind of a message does that send kids who are smart and talented but not athletic? Where does that leave kids are handicapped?

P.S. The coach I mentioned once egged a bunch of male students into beating and sodomizing the most blatantly gay kid in the school. I was sworn to secrecy about it, and I have had no contact with any of those guys since I graduated high school.

Justine Valinotti said...

Here is a letter I sent to Jason Scultz. I sent the same letter, with a different opening paragraph, to Matt Windschitl:

Dear Mr. Scultz:

Dear Mr. Scultz:

You, as a farmer, practice one of the oldest and most honored professions in the world. As such, you have the respect of this city girl.

I also have respect for the work you do as an Iowa legislator. It must have taken great determination for you to acquire the education necessary to achieve what you have in your chosen professions.

So, I would assume that you understand the value and necessity of education, particularly for those who may have few options otherwise. And, I would like to believe that you are a fair-minded person and would not want to deny anyone the chance to become self-sufficient human beings by means of whatever talents they have and skills they can develop.

Therefore, I am imploring you to withdraw your co-sponsorship of HF 2291. I, as a transgender woman, know just how difficult it is to get an education when you can't be secure within your person. It's true that most kids experience some form of bullying or harassment at some time during their school years. But they don't have to face the prospect of it on a daily basis, and they don't have to fear becoming the victim of violence.

Twenty years ago, I taught kids in East New York, which was then the most impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhood of New York City. Based on that experience, I can tell you that the constant fear of violence affects children's learning and school performance. Their minds aren't on their English or Math lessons when they're thinking about the beatings or sexual attacks they might experience, or have experienced.

What I have described is what gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual kids--or those who are simply perceived to be so-- also experience. And like their inner-city counterparts, may of them drop out. (That is the story of several of my friends.) You might say that they should "butch up" or "toughen up." Yes, they should--if they can. Not everyone is tall and broad-boned, or has a dense muscle structure. In fact, gay kids are just as likely as anyone else to be physically handicapped--or simply not to be strong and athletic. Is it fair to deny such people the opportunity to realize whatever talents and abilities they have?

As a New Yorker, I admire your state and its people for being in the vanguard of treating lesbian, gay and transgendered people as equals. Please put whatever personal misgivings you have aside and represent the people who elected you, as well as the sponsors of pioneering anti-discrimination legislation. I can see the Statue of Liberty from my window, but Iowa is a real light in the center of this country. Please don't snuff out the flame: Please withdraw your sponsorship of HF 2291.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Anne Observer said...

"Yes, they genuinely do want to de-criminalise the harrassment and bullying of Trans, Intersexed, and GLB kids in schools.

I noticed that straight kids are not covered by the 2007 law at all. I suppose that bullying and harassing them is not criminal either. So will there finally be equality before the law?

Anne Observer

Tab said...

Anne Observer -

The law as it stands bans harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. Since being straight is a sexual orientation, straight people are protected now, and wouldn't be if those clauses were removed.

Tamara Jeanne said...

We now know why this bill was indroduced into the Iowa legislature from this artical published yeasterday in the Iowa Independent newspaper...

GOP lawmakers want to exclude gay students from anti-bullying bill
By Jason Hancock 2/8/10 1:15 PM

A pair of Republican state legislators has introduced a bill that would remove protections for gay, lesbian and transgender students from an anti-bullying law passed in 2007.

State Reps. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, and Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, sponsored the legislation to remove sexual orientation and gender identity as definitions used for purposes of protecting students in public and nonpublic schools from harassment and bullying.

Schultz told NBC affiliate WHO-TV that the rationale behind the move is to force a vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, since the Iowa Supreme Court pointed to laws like Iowa’s Safe Schools Law in making its April decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Ryan Roemerman, executive director of Iowa Pride Network, said the bill would open up LGBT students to bullying and harassment.

“When our state is facing record budget deficits and unemployment, House Republicans feel their time is best spent picking on Iowa’s LGBT youth,” Roemerman said in a statement. “There is no better example as to why we have this law, so youth in Iowa don’t grow up to be like these bigots.”

That these two Iowa Republican lawmakers would stoop so low as to try to enact a law, which if passed would put LGBT children at risk, just so they can try to over turn same sex marriage. This is completely reprehensible. It seems that they think that its better to sacrifice the well being, blood and lives of inocent LGBT children to the abuse, bullying, beating and possibly death which will surely bee the result if this bill were be passed. ANd their only reason is just so they can try to prevent consenting same sex couples the right to make a loving commitment to each other in marriage. This is so very very wrong. Children and expesialy LGBT children need to be protected from bullying in schools amd not be used and as political pawns.

ENDA is Next, ENDA is Now!

Anonymous said...

Because the bible says so isn't a good enough excuse. Religous expression is still covered in their 'revised' bill and that includes wiccans etc. Yet the bible says "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" so if they believe the bible they should also be trying to make it legal to kill witches.