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Prichard not surprised by Chapman’s comments attacking media, teachers

By James Grob,
and The Associated Press

Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Charles City, said Wednesday that the polarizing comments made by Iowa’s Senate President Jake Chapman to open this year’s legislative session were nothing new.

“I’ve known and worked around Jake Chapman for a long time,” Prichard said. “Those comments don’t surprise me — that’s been his feelings for a long time.”

Chapman opened the legislative session Monday with an attack on the media and claims of a “sinister agenda” among public school educators to normalize deviant behavior against children.

Prichard not surprised by Chapman’s comments attacking media, teachers
Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Charles City

“It has become increasingly evident that we live in a world in which many, including our media, wish to confuse, misguide and deceive us, calling good evil and evil good,” Chapman said.

He followed with a claim that there is a “sinister agenda occurring right before our eyes.”

“The attack on our children is no longer hidden,” he said. “Those who wish to normalize sexually deviant behavior against our children, including pedophilia and incest, are pushing this movement more than ever before.”

Democratic leaders criticized Chapman’s remarks, calling the comments divisive and extreme political rhetoric that has made teachers, nurses and other people hesitant to work in the state.

“I hope there is a political price to pay for his comments,” Prichard said. “I hope he has to explain to voters what he meant by that, because in my mind, it’s totally off base and disrespectful to people who don’t deserve it.”

Chapman has earlier called for jailing educators who provide what he considers obscene material to children, and he supports banning some books from schools. There has been a move in Iowa and across the country to increase control over what books are available to children, and Chapman made clear those efforts would be a priority during the legislative session, saying “some teachers are disguising sexually obscene material as desired subject matter and profess it has artistic and literary value.”

Prichard, who is the husband of a teacher, said Chapman has been making similar comments for years, but he had a much larger audience this time, so his words are getting more attention.

“I think he’s wrong, and I think it just kind of shows how radicalized his world view has become,” Prichard said. “It’s unfortunate. I don’t think that represents Iowa and I don’t think that represents his district, but that’s not a shocking statement from him.”

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