FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2019
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller praised the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees for voting this evening to advance an evidence-based, inclusive sex education curriculum for district schools:
“These curriculum changes will provide factual, age-appropriate information that helps keep students safe and healthy. All students deserve to have the information, resources and skills they need to protect their health and their future. That’s especially important in a state that consistently has had one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation.
Moreover, our schools should teach students that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. And every student in our classrooms, including gay and transgender students, deserves to get an education in a setting that is safe and relevant to their own lives and experiences, without shame or discrimination.”
The TFN Education Fund has published two in-depth studies of what Texas public schools teach when it comes to sex education. The 2017 study reported that 58 percent of districts took an abstinence-only approach in the 2015-16 school year, while another quarter of districts taught nothing at all. The study also found that 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.
Texas has been the poster child for abstinence-only education, receiving more federal abstinence-only funding than any other state every year since 2004. Yet Texas has consistently had one of the highest teen birth rates in the nation during that time.
Texas Freedom Network is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who support social justice, religious freedom and individual liberties. Texas Rising, sponsored by TFN, brings together young, diverse, politically engaged Texans under 30 to build a grassroots movement through community organizing, electoral politics and public policy advocacy.