Advocates push for overhaul of state sex ed curriculum
AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Susan Mack is parent of a pre-teen and a teenager.
She knows sooner than later, questions about sex could arise. "I want my kids to have a way to get accurate facts about that in a safe environment, rather than finding something they are curious about and going to look it up on the internet," said Mack.
What she says she wants is comprehensive sex education, not strictly abstinence only based education. "When you have the example of telling kids to get more sleep is an STI prevention method, I think that's a great example of the lack of information our kids have been getting," said Mack.
She was among a crowd at the capitol Thursday, demanding the State Board of Education moves forward with an overhaul of the sex ed curriculum. The Texas Freedom Network and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) released a report about sex ed in Texas.
"More than 80 percent of school districts teach abstinence only or nothing at all about sex education. More than 60 percent of high school seniors in Texas say they've already had sex. That's higher than the national average," said Kathy Miller, president of Texs Freedom Network.
They are hoping the state can begin a comprehensive program and use it from K through 12th grade. "We're not and have never been talking about condom demonstration for six-year-olds. When I say we want to start with kindergarten, we are really just talking about friendships, peers and families, that's something they can build on, it's a foundation," said Jennifer Driver, state policy director at SIECUS.
"Our kids deserve medically accurate information on how to prevent heart attacks and diabetes. The same is true for preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections," said Miller.
Next, work groups will come together to draft the recommendations to the board. Public hearings for the changes will start next spring. "Sex isn't just something you need to learn about as a teenager, it's something that you need to understand and know for your whole life," said Mack.
Austin ISD is in the middle of possibly revising their sex education curriculum.
They are asking parents to complete a survey on the recommendations.