DMPS Response to the Signing of Senate File 482

The following is a statement from Des Moines Public Schools interim superintendent Matthew Smith in response to the signing of Iowa Senate File 482:

“Serving the most diverse community in Iowa, Des Moines Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning and working environment for all students and staff.

“Iowa Senate File 482 was signed into law today, and goes into effect immediately, requiring students, employees, parents, and visitors to use bathrooms, changing rooms, and other facilities as defined in the law, in accordance to their biological sex.  As a public school district, DMPS is required to comply with the law, including those over which people may have strong feelings or be deeply divided.

“However, nothing has changed in our commitment to welcome and serve our LGBTQ+ population with respect and dignity. DMPS policy along with federal and state laws prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. DMPS will continue to strongly enforce all anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies to protect all students and staff, and to create an environment that is welcoming to all in our community.

“Under this new law, any student who, for any reason, desires greater privacy when using the restroom, changing rooms, and other facilities defined in the law, may submit a written request to their building principal, which must be signed by the student’s parent or guardian.  The building administrator will evaluate the request and will, to the extent reasonable, offer alternative arrangements consistent with the new Iowa law. DMPS administrators are finalizing guidelines and will be meeting with our school leaders tomorrow to present and discuss this information.”