DALLAS - Texas school districts may have to decide for themselves how to teach new health requirements. The state board of education rejected proposed sex education material for middle and high school students.
The Dallas Morning News reported the board voted along party lines against materials that addressed topics like contraception, gender identity and self-harm.
The move comes about a year after the board approved new curriculum standards that included lessons on birth control in addition to abstinence.
Some parents told the board they do not agree with the way these touchy topics are presented in the textbooks under consideration.
Others said the books contain information students need to learn.
"I'm here today to ask that you do not reject or censor any of the textbook materials that cover sexual orientation or gender identity information. This is critical information for LGBQT students and also critical for students like mine who are not LGBQT but can also benefit from learning and understanding classmates and teachers different from them," one parent argued.
"Three out of the five programs are comprehensive sex ed and teach sexual risk reduction rather than sexual risk avoidance or abstinence. As an adult, I wasn't prepared for the vulgarity the adult situations and the topics being discussed. I can't imagine showing my adult children, let alone 7th and 8th graders," another parent said.
The state board did approve health education products for elementary school students that focus on mental health and hygiene but do not address any sex education standards.