Austin Sex Education Curriculum Will Help All Students, Regardless of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity

by TFN

TFN Calls on State Board of Education to Follow Austin’s Lead, Help Ensure All Texas Students Have Access to Accurate Information on Sex and Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 29, 2019

The Austin Independent School District’s new comprehensive and inclusive sex education curriculum, approved by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees Monday night, is an important step forward in Texas and will help address the needs of all students in the classroom, Texas Freedom Network Political Director Carisa Lopez said today.

“All students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve age-appropriate, fact-based answers to their questions about sex and relationships without being shamed or judged,” Lopez said. “Now it’s important to make similar changes at the state level so that all Texas students have access to the information they need to make responsible decisions and lead healthy lives based on their own and their family’s values.”

The State Board of Education is set in 2020 to overhaul health curriculum standards for all Texas public schools. Those standards include information on sex, relationships and reproductive health.

Research from the TFN Education Fund shows that 58 percent of Texas school districts took an abstinence-only approach in the 2015-16 school year, while another quarter of districts taught nothing at all on sex education. Yet more than 60 percent of seniors in Texas high schools say they have already had sex. And Texas has long had one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation.

Abstinence-only programs that dominate the state’s classrooms are filled with myths and information about birth control, rely on fear and shaming as instructional strategies, promote gender stereotypes and dangerous information about sexual assault, and ignore the health needs and experiences of LGBT students in classrooms.

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Texas Freedom Network is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support social justice, religious freedom and individual liberties.

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