The Austin Independent School District last month approved a sex education curriculum for its 2020 program, but parents are concerned that it’s not age-appropriate.
The sex-ed curriculum, which if implemented will be taught in grades 3-8, instructs teachers to avoid using the terms “mom” and “dad,” encourages students to join LGBTQ rallies, and defines “biological sex” as “sex assigned at birth according to genitalia.” Parents told the Daily Caller that the curriculum also includes lessons on how to obtain an abortion — without the parent’s knowledge, and other content they described as “explicit.”
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“It is important to avoid terms which refer only to ‘male’ and ‘female’ identities when speaking with young children as this can limit their understanding of gender into binaries and can exclude children who may not identify within these identities. For example, when discussing family members or adults they may have in their life, try not to only use terms like ‘mom’ or ‘dad’. Try integrating words like, ‘parents’ or, ‘guardians’ to include children whose parents might not fit into ‘traditional’ concepts of family structures,” reads the curriculum, according to PJ Media.
Where did it come from? Vice president of Texas Values David Walls said that the curriculum was based on Planned Parenthood’s sex education curriculum “Get Real,” but they had to make additional changes once Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed into law a bill that doesn’t allow transactions between certain government entities and abortion providers.
“Essentially what they ended up doing was cobbling together a bunch of curriculums from some Canadian Abortion Providers. It was literally a hodgepodge of stuff that we are still looking into,” he said.
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“Explain that when someone is born, a doctor looks at them and decides what sex they are. Usually, if a doctor sees a penis they will say the baby is male if they see a vagina they will say the baby is female, and if they see that the baby’s genitalia don’t quite look like either, they’ll say the baby is intersex. Explain that although people usually assume that people with a penis are boys and people with a vagina are girls, sex does NOT always match with gender identity (i.e. someone with a penis might identify as a girl),” reads a draft document for Grade 6.
The opposition: The curriculum was approved on Oct. 28 by the Austin ISD board, following a survey, which showed overwhelming support for the new draft, said Austin ISD’s spokesperson Scott Thomas. But, according to the survey, only 10.5% of family student primary contacts participated in it. What’s more, over 8,000 people who don’t support the curriculum have signed a Texas Values’ petition.
Yet, Thomas remains “very confident the survey is representative of the population. Instruction of the new curriculum will be taught in May 2020. Parents will be able to opt their children out of one, several, or all lessons.”
Comments: “We’re supposed to be a district where there is no place for hate. It’s supposed to be a bully-free environment. Well, they don’t have any trouble bullying us. It’s oppressive. Discriminatory,” said Karole Fedrick, a Concerned Parents of Texas advocate. She took issue with proposed materials that teach children about the type of services certain clinics provide, such as abortion, and are then asked how to find them on their own.
Jennifer Feck, whose vying for a seat in the Texas state House of Representatives, suggested there is a political motive behind the curriculum.
“It’s not just about teaching children about sex. I always say I’m for optimal health of the student. What is the healthiest way we can teach a young child? That should be our goal … A lot of people will say that abstinence isn’t a reality. Well in third grade, I hope it is,” she said.
“I don’t feel that the curriculum stresses abstinence enough. I feel it introduces things way too young. It’s teaching kids things that go directly against my religious beliefs,” said Lisa Williams, a mother of two children who go to Austin ISD. “This process has really demonstrated that the school board does not care what the parents think. They are just pursuing their own objective despite a lot of feedback that this is what people want. They are refusing to take a more moderate stance on this. There’s a lot of parents that aren’t even aware that this is going on. That’s the really sad thing. This is going to be taught to their kids unbeknownst to them.”
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