POLK COUNTY - The Governor's Conference on LGBTQ Youth is again under fire, this time from an Iowa lawmaker.
A high school student who attended the event on April 3 in Altoona said she was offended and uncomfortable because of sexually graphic and inappropriate presentations. Now, it’s caught the attention of Representative Greg Heartsill.
"When kids are exposed to inappropriate material on school time and on the taxpayer's dime, I think that's a serious matter too that also needs to be looked into," he said.
He sent an email on May 21 to every superintendent in the state, requesting their help.
“I assure you, these reports are being taken seriously in the Legislature. Hopefully they are also being taken seriously by those who work most closely with Iowa’s students,” he wrote in the email.
Heartsill asked for data, such as how many students and staff attended and who covered the cost.
"Most of the schools attending this conference paid at least in part, some of them paid in full, the registration fee of both students and staff in attending, in addition to the transportation as well," he said.
The Superintendent of Southeast Polk School District Craig Menozzi said he was surprised to receive the email.
"When I first opened it, I was wondering why the information was being sought after, why the person was looking for that information. I had not seen that before," he said.
Menozzi says he plans on providing the information to Heartsill in order to be transparent. He says his district didn't pay a cent for the four students and his two faculty members to attend what he considers a beneficial event.
But Heartsill disagrees.
"It seems to have morphed into something that seems to be more like a how to, how to get started in this lifestyle. It's more like it's promoting it and encouraging kids to experiment with their sexuality," he said.
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