On Tuesday, September 8, 2020, I shared a post to Facebook with the opening line: “Parent Alert!” I reported that our State Board of Education was discussing whether to teach middle school students: how to give consent, how to have oral sex and how to have anal sex. Upon reflection, it would have been better to have left off the “how to” from the last two items until I had time to add context, to avoid misunderstanding. However, it was not an inaccurate statement, as this was implied as a likely extension of teaching the terms. Specifically, the point was raised by an SBOE member that middle school students would question the teacher as to what these terms meant, if the terms were presented in class as modes of transmission of STDs/STIs, and the teacher would then be put in an awkward position to respond (thus defining the terms for the students, and by defining them, explaining how to do them.)
On Saturday, September 12, 2020, I posted a response to an outcry for proof of my claims. I provided the direct link to Part 2 of the meeting, and a time stamp of 35:08 when the entire discussion with Work Group F began. I did not tune in to watch the meeting until this discussion was well underway. The specific portion of this discussion that I saw began at approximately 1:00:00 and lasted approximately 20 minutes. This segment was what precipitated my original post, which was not to create fear, but to alert parents to the intensity of the content that was being considered in revising the Health TEKS. Parents across Texas and beyond read my post. Many were grateful that I brought this to their attention.
Parents have a right and a responsibility to know what their children are taught. As I mentioned before, we award our elected officials power over these important decisions. Fortunately, some of our elected officials were already expressing concern to the recommended changes during that Tuesday meeting. Many parents across Texas sent emails and made calls to them expressing their views. In the end, our SBOE voted not to intentionally expose our middle school students to the terms “anal sex” and “oral sex” as part of that recommended objective. I applaud them for this. Their final vote on this will be in November.