Texas’ Education Agency is considering a rewrite of health standards which could change the way sex education is taught in schools.
Right now, the state requires schools to focus on abstinence.
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller says “They have eight ways to prevent STD’s. Not one mention of condoms in those eight suggestions, but, they do say you should get plenty of rest.”
But soon, more information on preventing sexually transmitted diseases could be part of Texas’ sex education along with topics like, sexual risk reduction methods or contraceptives and healthy relationships.
Miller says, “Oh my goodness, is it about time that Texas come into the twenty-first century.”
Education Commissioner Mike Morath included the recommendations in his health standards review.
If approved, this would be the first change in more than 20 years, however, not everyone agrees.
Women of the Wall President Alice Linahan says, “Abstinence would be risk avoidance. We don’t educate our children to drink safely or to do drugs safely.”
Linahan believes parents should choose how sex education is taught.
Linahan says, “It’s a dangerous place to go. They lose their right as parents to decide when and how their children should be taught about sex education.”
A 2017 Texas Freedom Network report shows eight out of ten Texas public schools teach abstinence only, or don’t teach sex education at all.
Meanwhile, Texas ranks fourth in the nation for teen births with more than 30,000 pregnancies in 2016.
Miller says that’s why something’s gotta give.
Miller says, “We’re ignoring the nearly sixty percent of students who say that they are sexually active before they graduate from high school.”
The State Board of Education is planning a final vote on the new health standards in September 2-20, and if they are approved, they would go into effect for the 2022 to 2023 school year.