We continue our review of the outrageous and offensive things we heard from the right in 2016. The right's wars on women, abortion and sex education continued in full force throughout the year. Let's review some of what we heard from the right on these issues. You can check out previous posts from the Year in Quotes here.…… Read More
The right in America seems increasingly hostile to science and facts. We see that clearly in debates over issues like climate change and evolution. But it's also a big problem when it comes to sex education -- especially if it involves anything to do with LGBTQ youth. The latest example: an essay from a religious-right author that misinterprets a new report about risky behavior among sexual minority youth. Read More
Are Texas public school students going to learn that using contraception is as "unnatural" as underwater, tap-dancing squirrels? The state sure seems to be inviting that kind of nonsense into its Abstinence Education Program. Read More
As soon as this week, the U.S. Supreme Court could decide whether it will hear a challenge to Texas’ restrictive anti-abortion law. Also this week, far-right politicians will continue to push the notion that Planned Parenthood should be defunded even if it means shutting down the federal government, a move that retiring Speaker John Boehner has suggested ignores political realities and is deeply unpopular with the American public.
So here, attempting to talk some sense into those same politicians by using facts, is our friend Bill Nye the Science Guy.
With all of the damage culture warriors on the State Board of Education have done — or tried to do — to the education of Texas public school students in their science and history classrooms, it can be easy to forget what they’ve also done on sex education. Today the online news magazine Slate posted the above video, which examines how two high school health textbooks from the same publisher address sex education — one submitted for adoption in Texas in 2004 and the other a decade earlier. That abstinence-only textbook from 2004, which doesn’t include a shred of information on contraception, remains in classrooms today.
Slate focused this video on the health textbooks from just one publisher, Holt, Rinehart and Winston. But publisher Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s health textbooks were also abstinence-only. Holt and Glencoe essentially split the Texas health textbook market between them in 2004-05.
The State Board of Education hasn’t set an adoption date for the next generation of health textbooks for Texas public schools. We’re likely about five years away, at least. Meanwhile, Texas has the one of the highest teen birth rates among the nation’s 50 states — the fifth highest, in fact, as of 2013. And the Texas Legislature still refuses to encourage school districts… Read More