(DES MOINES) -- On Tuesday, March 16, Iowa House Republicans passed House File 744, a bill to protect free speech in schools, through the Iowa House with bipartisan support.

HF 744 provides additional free speech protections for students and staff in K-12 schools and college campuses. It prohibits faculty and staff from intentionally violating the free speech of students and allows disciplinary measures if violations occur. And, it requires free speech training at all Regent universities for students and faculty.

Rep. Dustin Hite (R-New Sharon) led the legislation through the Iowa House. 

"I believe there is no more important right than the right to free speech, especially in educational settings," said Rep. Hite. "It is not the job of our educational institutions to tell students what to think. It’s to give students the tools to decide what to think for themselves. This bill is necessary to protect the free expression of Iowa’s students as they develop their own thoughts and ideas.”

Speaker of the Iowa House Pat Grassley said protecting Iowa students' and teachers' First Amendment rights has been a priority of Iowa House Republicans this session. 

"After having multiple stories from Iowa schools and universities brought to our attention, protecting free speech in educational settings became a top priority for Iowa House Republicans," said Speaker Grassley. "It's unfortunate that we even had to take this action today, but Iowa House Republicans refuse to turn a blind eye to attempts to indoctrinate Iowa students and stifle their free speech rights."

HF 744 passed the Iowa House with an overwhelming vote of 96-1.


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