From ACLU of Iowa <[email protected]>
Subject Iowa student activists win Mannheimer Award
Date January 27, 2024 3:04 PM
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ACLU of Iowa Robert Mannheimer Youth Advocacy Award Winners <[link removed]>

Friend –

Two remarkable Iowa students, Hailie Bonz, 17, of Urbandale, and Jemma Bullock, 18, of Ankeny, are the recipients of the ACLU of Iowa Robert Mannheimer Youth Advocacy Award.

Hailie and Jemma are both being honored for organizing student walkouts against SF 496. That law, signed by Governor Kim Reynolds in May 2023, bans books depicting sex acts from grades K-12, bans teaching and materials referencing gender identity and sexual orientation through sixth grade, and requires school administrators to out students to parents or guardians if the student asks to use a name or pronouns other than those assigned at birth. Hailie organized a walkout at Urbandale High School to oppose the law. Additionally, she is the sole student plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by publisher Penguin Random House and the Iowa State Education Association that challenges the book ban provisions of SF 496. Other plaintiffs in that lawsuit include teachers, librarians, and well-known writers like John Green, Jodi Picoult, and Laurie Halse Anderson. The ACLU of Iowa, with Lambda Legal, has also filed a separate lawsuit to block the entire law. Jemma also organized student opposition to SF 496. Jemma and other students started by planning school walkouts just in central Iowa. However, Jemma soon found herself fielding requests from students all across the state for help organizing protests. In total, 50 walkouts were held and thousands of students made their voices heard. The ACLU of Iowa Robert Mannheimer Youth Advocacy Award is a $500 cash prize given to a young Iowan aged 14 to 19 who has demonstrated a passion and advocacy for civil liberties. It is named as a memorial to Des Moines attorney and civil liberties advocate Robert Mannheimer.

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ACLU of Iowa

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