Take Action: Call Reps on Sex Ed Amendments

by TFN

Texas Freedom Network is sending out the following Action Alert. Please forward this link to anyone interested in supporting responsible sex education.

More than decade of stubborn commitment by policy-makers to failed abstinence-only programs in Texas schools have had disastrous consequences:

Texas ranks third in teen births and first in multiple births to teens.
Parenthood is the top reason teen girls drop out of school.
Teen pregnancy cost Texas taxpayers $1 billion in 2004.

A number of promising bills were filed this legislative session to respond to this appalling situation, but as the legislative session draws to a close, it appears they have all been blocked by abstinence-only supporters who are satisfied with the status quo. On Monday, however, several lawmakers will make a final push to respond to the epidemic of teen births in our state and improve sex education in Texas classrooms. But they need our help.

The Texas House is taking up important legislation on Monday that could help ensure Texas teens learn responsible information on pregnancy and disease prevention. The House will consider Senate Bill 283 by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound. Sen. Nelson’s bill strengthens the requirement that every school district in Texas have an active School Health Advisory Council that provides community and parental input regarding policies on health education, including sex education.

TFN supports this responsible bill by Sen. Nelson. We are also supporting key amendments that would specifically improve sex education in public schools. You can help pass these amendments by contacting your local legislator immediately and through the vote on Monday.

Click here to find the name and contact information for your House member. Then ask your representative to support these amendments to SB 283 by Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio; Michael Villarreal, D-San Antonio; and Mark Strama, D-Austin:

Support the amendment by Rep. Castro to require that sex education be medically accurate.

  • Fact: 41% of Texas school districts teach factually incorrect information in sexuality education instruction.

Support the amendment by Rep. Villarreal to prevent materials from discouraging condom and contraceptive use by teens who are sexually active.

  • Fact: 40% of Texas school districts include medically inaccurate information that discourages young people from making responsible decisions to prevent pregnancy and disease.

Support the amendment by Rep. Strama to require school districts to provide parents with written notice about the content of the district’s human sexuality instruction.

  • Fact: Polls have shown that up to 90% of Texans want abstinence-plus information about contraception and disease prevention included in sexuality education, but 96% of Texas schools don’t provide that information.

Support the amendment by Rep. Castro to require School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) to have at least 5 members.

  • Fact: 81% of school districts surveyed in 2008 could not produce any SHAC recommendation on sexuality education instruction despite the fact that the law requires SHACs to provide community and parental input in district decisions regarding human sexuality instruction.

Please contact the TFN outreach office and let us know what you’re told by your House representative’s office. You can e-mail tfn@tfn.org or call Val or Judie at 512-322-0545 on Monday.

Click here to learn more about what Texas public schools teach about sexuality education today.

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