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SBOE considers textbooks for K-12 Health Education

Last week, the Texas Values policy team testified at the State Board of Education to warn members about the textbook samples being proposed to the board for the Health curriculum for grades K-12. The State Board of Education (SBOE) is a group of 15 elected members who represent public school students and parents across different regions of Texas. The SBOE periodically writes TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge Skills) standards to set the basic requirements for what teachers must teach in the classroom and what students should know at each grade level.

Thanks to your efforts and thousands of other Texans, we were able to keep radical sex education, including the topics of sexual orientation; gender identity; and abortion, out of the state standards known as the Health TEKS last November. Now that the Health standards have been set, the Board must choose textbooks that align with the newly adopted Health TEKS. Many of the health textbook samples included LGBT issues with some of the lessons suggesting that students become LGBT advocates. Other textbook samples may have been free of LGBT issues but had explicit stories about arousal and ejaculation that children would have to read. However, there are good textbook samples that stick to the Texas Education Code requires that promote abstinence as the preferred choice of behavior. The best textbook sample that gives age-appropriate health information to students comes from publisher Goodheart Wilcox. Other good samples that are free from LGBT and other inappropriate topics include Quaver and Mekumi.

The Board took no action on adopting Health textbooks; they will vote in November to decide which vendor should be chosen to publish textbooks for Health education. In the meantime, the SBOE needs to hear from you on why they should not choose a publisher who included content that you testified against: sexual orientation, gender identity, and consent. Please follow Texas Values to keep up to date with what is happening in Texas public schools. The next SBOE meeting will be November 17-19, 2021.

You can find samples of the materials that will be considered at the November meeting here: http://tea4avcastro.tea.state.tx.us/imet/agreement.html

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