SBOE Votes Against Radical Sex Education in Health and Politicized Science
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) made progress last week in protecting the education of Texas public school students. The Board took up the topics of High School Science courses and Health standards for K-12 students, which include sex education. The actions by the board are considered a victory due to rejecting an effort by liberals to add the term “social justice” to Science TEKS and the Board affirming abstinence-based sex education while holding off on subjects related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and abortion.
Similar to the June meeting, the SBOE heard hours of testimony from radical groups like Texas Freedom Network and Jane’s Due Process who were upset and disappointed that the most recent draft did not include support for comprehensive sex education, LGBTQ issues, and abortion. Despite testimony in favor of so-called comprehensive sex education, the Board heard from many parents and citizens on how they do not want the topics of LGBTQ and abortion taught in Health classes. A local Austin Pastor testified on how he was against comprehensive sex education and how the Planned Parenthood curriculum is too graphic for students. Other parents from Austin ISD testified how the school district left parents in the dark about teaching radical sex education curriculum that did not align with their family values.
Nevertheless, the Board resisted the push to add comprehensive sex education (which typically includes promoting drug-based forms of contraception that can have deadly side effects), LGBTQ issues, and abortion. Members amended the draft to define “abstinence” as “refraining from all sexual activity and genital contact between individuals” according to a definition from the Department of Health and Human Services. Members also added the success sequence to the Health TEKS that teaches students the economic benefits of graduating from high school, getting a job, and getting married before having children. SBOE members also voted to reject a new concept support by the left called “committed relationships” from the lesson on teaching children the benefits of healthy marriages contributing to healthy families and communities. It was discovered that the term “committed relationships” could have a broad application, and it could mean two teenagers that have dated for a few weeks. Supporters of this term were trying to put it on the same level as marriage for purposes of promoting decisions that statistically lead to healthier living. The vote to delete the term “committed relationships” was passed 10-2 with bipartisan support with Democrat Member Lawrence Allen voicing agreement with teaching students about the benefits of healthy marriages.
Member Ruben Cortez (D-Brownsville) made several amendments regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. One amendment he made had the unscientific claim that gender is determined at birth. All of the proposed amendments with LGBTQ language failed. The amended Health TEKS passed 10-0 for first reading and filing authorization.
The Board was also successful in rejecting the topic of social justice from the high school Science TEKS. Social justice has been a venue for many LGBTQ advocacy issues to enter the classroom and overall is not a subject appropriate for Science. Many content advisors who provide expertise on the Science TEKS expressed to the Board members their disapproval of social justice being in the topic of Science. SBOE member Barbara Cargill moved to have the term social justice removed. The Board approved the new Science standards for high school 13-0.
The work on these subjects is not over. There will be a final vote in November. There is still time to contact your Board members and thank them for their work and ask them to resist adding LGBTQ issues, abortion, and other comprehensive sex education issues to the Health TEKS.