TFN President Testifies on Anti-Sex Ed Legislation

As we reported earlier this week, Senate Bill 521 was passed out of state Sen. Dan Patrick’s Education Committee and is on its way to the full Senate. While we wait for any new developments on this bill, here’s video of TFN President Kathy Miller testifying against this reckless anti-sex ed legislation earlier this month (more after the video):

There is also an interesting story in The Atlantic on sex education in Mississippi. You’ve surely heard or used the phrase “Thank God for Mississippi.” It’s what people not in Mississippi sometimes say to make themselves feel better about how poorly their state may be doing in something.

From the Atlantic story:

As it happens, these topics are my specialty as an investigative reporter, and Mississippi lured me by topping two national lists: the state is the most religious in the union and has the highest teen birth rate. So I was intrigued when House Bill 999 (HB999) — which for the first time ever requires that sex education be taught in public schools — passed the Mississippi legislature. Sex itself is a politically and religiously charged subject anywhere and in Mississippi you can take that to the power of 10.

And this:

House Bill 999 mandates teaching abstinence-based sex education in all Mississippi public schools. A school district may decide to teach an “abstinence plus” curriculum — encouraging abstinence while providing information about contraception — but even in those cases, the bill bans demonstration of proper condom use.

Things are a little different in Texas, where school districts are not required to teach sex ed. But if a district does decide to teach it, it is mandated to emphasize abstinence. That policy, and spending the most federal dollars of any state to teach abstinence-only, has left Texas with the fourth-highest teen birth rate in the country.

And now we have SB 521, which if approved, won’t do anything to help. So we can continue to rely on Mississippi to make ourselves feel better, or we can try to actually do better.

Or the Legislature could approve SB 521 and the rest of us can just get used to Mississippians saying “Thank God for Texas.”

12 thoughts on “TFN President Testifies on Anti-Sex Ed Legislation

  1. People have forgotten that “abstinence only” was the education given to the tens of thousands of young American soldiers going to France in the First World War. That ‘education’ resulted in one of the highest rates of syphillis and gonorrhea infections in American servicemen in history. Abstinence only failed then, it is failing now, and it will always fail. Only the ignorant and the dishonest cling to it.

  2. So Kathy points out a conflict between providing the sex education that parents desire and the principle that no educator or materials have any association with an abortion provider, and the senator responds saying that it’s more important to enforce the principle than to provide children with the education that parents want them to have. In this light, enforcing the principle is simply an effort to prevent students from getting magical abortion-clinic cooties. I think this is ultimately a failure of politicians understanding science — that the approach we take affects the outcome in a way that need not conform to our presuppositions.

  3. Yes, the video makes it clear what a flaming bigot and idiot Dan Patrick is. Just like many radical members of the SBOE, his primary purpose is to increase ignorance in Texas for both students and parents, in this case about sex education rather than biology, but aren’t those two really the same thing? The most egregious aspect of this public debacle, however, is that Patrick and his fellow travelers are using the considerable power of their elected public offices to promote ignorance and the consequent and highly predictable personal tragedies of thousands of Texas families. What parents want to see their unmarried teenage daughters become pregnant or infected with an STD? Did they realize that their public school systems, that they trusted to teach preventative health care, were actually ignoring the health of their children? And that this is being done by law? Texas Republicans are guilty of the politicization of health education and the promotion of ignorance and cruelty. When will Texas citizens stop voting for these cruel and unethical people?

  4. Sorry to say, but until any of this affects YOU personally, nothing will change. Dan Patrick is not accountable for his actions. He can vote the sky pink.

    Until Texans start getting 10 newborns dumped on their doorstep every day nobody will care. It’s an invisible problem but not an insubstantial problem. We’ll see the effects of these kids in years to come but by that time Patrick will be long gone and as I said, unaccountable.

    The breakdown in the system is that politicians like Patrick work for themselves, not us and we suffer as a result. What it will take to wake up the electorate I have no idea.

  5. Abstinence-only education in schools? Ask Sarah Palin how that worked out for her daughter! It doesn’t stop kids from having sex, indeed Sarah was powerless to stop it in her own home. But it does guarantee a whole lot more babies are born to teenage mothers….usually single mothers. Great family values people!

  6. You know, having babies can be viewed as an economic problem for those who don’t have the knowledge of where babies come from and if parents don’t give information. This economic problem can also be further extended when Texas lawmakers with their failure to keep the people’s Consitutional right of separation of church and state separated, because I can guarantee that within 15- 20 years, Texas will have many unwanted babies who will have became young adults unsupervised since not wanted because of not being wanted and when someone has not been supervised, from mothers who have died because of having been denied healthcare and basic healthcare concerning ‘where do babies should come from enlightnement of the REAL world and how do they get here’ which also includes initally laymakers giving away a mother’s legal rights to make economic decisions for themselves, those who will later on have to deal with all this, will be the state and local authorities who will wonder where all these young people who have grown into young teenagers, who have been without a mother (who died from no health care) or any supervision to learn the rules of society and have not learned what society’s rules of engagement actually are, as to how society works, those young adults will have become sociey’s criminals. Within this timeframe too, those in high places will be scratching their heads wanting to know where all this crime has come from…and interestingly you can honestly identify all the legislatures at the Texas State level who can have over time have created this problem when they took away these children’s mother’s rights to make their own decisions as to whether to have a child…but that won’t be address until 2033 here in Texas. Mark my word, Texas will be fulfill this self-fulfilling promise to themselves.

    1. I think Ms. Houston has put her finger on the cause of the present policy impasse: The decision that only abstinence will work is itself the product of a deep, abysmal understanding of where babies come from, and reflects the simplistic two-valued logic of people without any means to distinguish between more than two outcomes. You stop babies by stopping sex. Simple as that. Simple as they.

      This suggests the population most in need of mandatory sex education may be considerably older than grade school students. I think we ought to eliminate this persistent stupidity before more lives are ruined by rampaging ignorance.

  7. What a joke TFN is. Who knows if they will even have the guts to post this?

    Surely you know of other successful anti-campaigns include drinking and driving, smoking, and texting? Kids will choose the higher road if they are given the truth and have a loving community that will support them. We should be championing abstinence every chance we get because that is the ONLY 100% foolproof method to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases!

    The July 2012 Congressional Report shows that SRA’s are effective and are making a difference in kids lives! You should also look at the new science behind hooking up and how devastating it is for kids.

    Planned Parenthood, SIECUS, Advocates for Youth, etc. all lie to kids (PP has the worst condom efficacy rating out there look it up) and make them think they need to be sexually active and never encourage or reward the abstainer. These groups never make money unless someone is hooking up, needing contraception or medication because they got an STI so of course they love it when kids rebel or fall for the lies, it’s money right in their pocket from tax dollars and individuals.

    With music like Jacki-O, sex books like 50 Shades of Grey and It’s Perfectly Normal, TV shows (Sex in the City) and Movies showing kids and adults having multiple sex partners and then getting pregnant or an STIs but not the real consequences physically, emotionally and spiritually of the toll it will take on a person.

    But then again maybe TFN and all of you think 5 years old need to learn about masturbation and homosexuality? That should really help! Not.

    1. See my prior post. Texangirl is precisely the sort of person who needs better sex education, and now. Her hysterical belief that abstinence is the ONLY WAY to prevent disease and pregnancy is not only misguided but, by her own logic, false. Hasn’t she heard of sterilization? Worked for the eugenics crowd; in two generations, all that nasty sex and disease could be completely eradicated. Along with all the carriers.

      Such know-nothing absolutism is an insult to intelligence and to civilization. It reflects an upbringing so limited, so violently against civilization, that we must regard that form of upbringing itself as a criminal activity to be curtailed. Otherwise, Texangirl and all those with the same upbringing will bring down civilization to Bronze Age levels, only with less hope for the future and a good deal more emphasis on things you MUST NOT do. This is not the path to the future. Follow it long enough, and you’ll be back in the caves.

      There is no rational argument with such people. They start with false premises and cling to them with the devotion of fanatics. Therefore I do not address Texangirl directly. Instead, I speak to the Texans and others who must stop her. I cannot stress how important it is that such people are educated as soon as possible. Otherwise this madness will simply spread.

  8. Texasgirl is really a typical Texas girl: she is ignorant of the facts of life and, as Peter Rogan says, really needs some sex education herself. Here are some other ways to prevent pregnancy and STDs with an essentially 100% success rate. First, use a condom; condoms are 100% effective at preventing pregnancy and STDs if used properly. The catch is that the users must be educated on how to use them properly; most people don’t and the the success rate is 80-90%, not too good. If used properly, the success rate is 99-100%. Second, have a monogamous relationship with someone you can trust, who does not have an STD, and competently use pregnancy protection, either a condom or birth control pill.

    Texasgirl needs to face reality or get a life or both. People want to enjoy sex without consequences and today that is possible if they are responsible and take precautions. Enjoying sex without consequences is anathema to Religious Fundamentalists who want to impose their own extreme morals on others who don’t share their radical religious beliefs. To do this they must get complicit public officials who use their state offices to force their religious values on non-coreligionists using the power of the state. This sort of authoritarianism and misuse of political authority is fascist, un-American, and unethical. This is what Texasgirl is advocating, and that is shameful behavior.

  9. This approach has been tried, and is dismally ineffective. My first thought when some ridiculous idea like this is floated- who stands to make money from this? Perhaps a “Texas doesn’t care if you get a horrible disease, if we can just legislate (more of) your reproductive life” curriculum?