Austin ISD Sex-Ed Curriculum Unauthorized, says Canadian “Health Service”
Austin, Texas – At a press conference today Texas Values and Austin area parents released some of their findings from an open records request concerning Austin Independent School District’s (ISD) radical sex education. Those records revealed Alberta Health Services (AHS), a Canadian abortion provider, did not authorize use of their copyrighted sex education curriculum to Austin ISD.
Additionally, this week State Senator Donna Campbell, whose district includes Austin ISD schools, sent her own Public Information Act request to Austin ISD asking them to hand over their communications with the Canadian abortion provider, Alberta Health Services.
According to an email from Alberta Health Services, Austin ISD is using and modifying the Canadian company’s copyrighted materials without authorized permission. Texas Values sent a follow up open records request after an earlier request revealed that there was a possible contract between Austin ISD and Alberta Health Services. Jocelyn Graham from Alberta Health Services told Austin ISD librarian Stella Bromley that in order for the school to use the materials, an agreement form must be filled out.
Texas Values asked the school district for the agreement form and further communications with Alberta Health Services. The school district turned over shocking information: the agreement form was not filled out or signed, and Alberta Health Services had no idea Austin ISD is using their materials.
In a letter to Austin ISD librarian Stella Bromley, dated January 8th 2020, an Alberta Health Services representative said,
“We were recently contacted by a reporter from Austin regarding the use of Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) sexual health materials by Austin Independent School District (AISD). As AHS never entered into the copyright permission agreement with AISD, we were surprised to receive a copy of materials that include significant portions of the AHS materials. Given our earlier discussions, it is disappointing to learn that the AISD decided to use the materials without permission.“
See letter for more.
The initial communications between Austin ISD and Alberta Health Services about using the materials appeared to have occurred in October and November of 2019. It appears there was no final arrangement made on whether Austin ISD could use the materials before the Board voted on the curriculum on October 28, 2019.
Alberta Health Services reminded Austin ISD there was an agreement form which needed to be signed for authorized use and that Austin ISD should have communicated their use of Alberta Health Services materials. The curriculum Austin ISD is using has no copyright statement or waiver included. It appears that in a rush to have the Alberta Health Services curriculum approved by the Austin ISD Board of Trustees, Austin ISD was willing to use unauthorized materials from an international company.
Mary Elizabeth Castle, Policy Advisor for Texas Values said “If a student in the district did on their homework what Austin ISD has done with the Alberta Health Services curriculum, they would be expelled. Like a student cheating to pass a class, Austin ISD confiscated Alberta Health Services copyrighted material just so the curriculum could ‘pass’ at the Board of Trustees meeting.”
Based on this information, it appears Austin ISD could be in violation of copyright laws in addition to continued concerns related to transparency, parental rights violations, and new state law SB 22, authored by Senator Donna Campbell.
Watch our press conference about this below:
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