Proposed Legislation Adds News and Unnecessary Obstacles for Effective Sex Education in Texas Schools

by TFN Insider

Proposed Legislation Adds News and Unnecessary Obstacles for Effective Sex Education in Texas Schools

State Law Already Requires Informing Parents on Sex Ed, Right to Opt Out

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2013

The Texas Freedom Network is releasing the following statement regarding the filing of House Bill 1057 by state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano. HB 1057 would require schools to obtain prior permission from parents before providing students with sex education instruction from entities or individuals other than the school district. It would also forbid entities affiliated with an abortion provider from providing sex education instruction in public schools.

This statement is from Dan Quinn, TFN’s communications director:

“In a state with one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation, this bill would make it harder for schools to teach effective sex education. As it should, state law already requires public schools to tell parents what they are teaching about sex education and inform them of their right to review the curriculum and opt their children out of such classes. This bill simply imposes new and completely unnecessary bureaucratic burdens on school districts at a time when the Legislature has already been cutting billions of dollars from public education.

The only thing sex education has to do with abortion is making it less likely a teen will get pregnant and seek one. Lawmakers would do Texas families a big favor if they stopped trying to drag our public schools and health care into the abortion wars.

Moreover, if Rep. Leach really wants to improve sex education in Texas, he’ll support legislation that requires information in such classes be medically accurate. The Legislature has repeatedly refused to pass such a requirement because it would bar abstinence-only programs that teach myths, exaggerations and outright false information about contraception.”

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund has released two in-depth reports on what the state’s public schools are teaching in their sex education classes. Those reports are available at www.tfn.org/sexeducation. Our 2011 report found that about half of the 677 school districts responding to the Texas Education Agency’s 2010-11 School Health Survey used curriculum materials from outside vendors, including both abstinence-only and abstinence-plus vendors.

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan public education and religious liberties watchdog based in Austin.

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