Opinion Piece by Melissa Beckett
It is that time of year again. A new school year is upon us with all of the possibilities that brings; new schedules, new friends, new knowledge and unfortunately new stresses!! For those of us parents who send our children to public school, it is with mixed emotions. Public schools have resources that many private schools do not but there is a trade off. Public schools across the country are becoming more and more liberal, a problem we used to think resided only in California. Instead of focusing on the classical education items like reading, writing and arithmetic, public schools now feel it is their duty to “parent” our children in all aspects of living, and most recently Texas public schools have been inundated with very liberal ideology, especially as it relates to Human Sexuality Curriculum, or “Sex-Ed” as it is often called.
Did you know that Texas public schools are not required to offer Human Sexuality Education? The Texas Education Code gives them the option to not offer it at all.
Did you know that if Texas public schools choose to offer Human Sexuality Education you have the right to “OPT OUT” or “NOT OPT-IN”? Yes, you have that right!
Did you know that if Texas public schools choose to offer Human Sexuality Education they must choose a curriculum that stresses abstinence? That means that the majority of the curriculum should be focused on what abstinence is, why it is the right choice for unmarried school aged children, how to choose it, and how to feel good about doing so.
Would it surprise you to know that most public schools in San Antonio teach Human Sexuality Education? Probably not.
Would it surprise you to know that what most San Antonio public schools are teaching does not meet the Texas Education Code requirements to stress abstinence? My guess is that it would surprise you. But what I learned last year is that liberal organizations have infiltrated many School Boards through the SHAC (Student Health Advisory Council) and these School Boards have approved new programs without properly vetting the curriculum and confirming their compliance with the Texas Education Code 28.004 (e) (1-5).
My children attend schools in North East ISD and beginning in the 2016-2017 school year all North East ISD Middle Schools began teaching a new Middle School human sexuality curriculum called “Draw the Line, Respect the Line” by ETR publishing (out of California). Having read this curriculum from beginning to end for all three grades I can confidently state that this curriculum DOES NOT stress abstinence as the Texas Education Code 28.004 (e) (1-5) requires. Abstinence or “not have sex” is barely mentioned at all in the entire curriculum. When “not have sex” is mentioned it is usually as an equal alternative to having sex, which ever you “choose” or “feel ready” for. And remember, we are talking Middle School aged children (ages 11-14). I don’t know about you but I do not want my children to be exposed to a program that places “not having sex” as an equal choice to “having sex.” Not only is it not the best thing for my child, it is a lie. They are not equal and to suggest they are is neglectful.
The challenge is no matter how many times I showed the staff at North East ISD and the School Board (using example after example from the curriculum’s student instruction) that abstinence is not stressed in the curriculum as the Texas Education Code requires, they dismissed my concerns and continued to state that it does teach abstinence and that it is in compliance with Texas Education Code 28.004 (e) (1-5). Interestingly, they only made opinion statements and did not support their claim with examples from the student’s instruction.
So why did North East ISD select a new Human Sexuality Curriculum? I cannot speak for them but here is what I do know. The previous Middle School program taught by North East ISD is called “Choosing the Best” and it does meet the Texas Education Code requirements and was effective. See the table below.
From school year 2008-2009 to school year 2015-2016, “Choosing the Best” human sexuality curriculum was taught in all North East ISD Middle Schools. North East ISD’s Middle School pregnancy rates began dropping almost immediately after “Choosing the Best” was implemented, and continued to drop to almost zero during the 2015-2016 school year. So why would North East ISD leave a successful, effective, and law abiding program? One would expect it would be for an even more effective program, right? Wrong. According to the publishers of “Draw the Line, Respect the Line” it is not effective in helping girls delay the onset of sex. So again I ask the question, why was this change made?
And as parents, what are we to do? Well, the first thing is to make sure your child does not attend “Draw the Line, Respect the Line” curriculum or any other similar curriculum.
PLEASE OPT YOUR CHILDREN OUT of Human Sexuality Education unless you can verify that your school district is teaching a curriculum that stresses abstinence!! It is the souls of your children you are fighting for!
What school Districts in San Antonio are teaching “Draw the Line, Respect the Line” in Middle School classrooms? As best I can tell the following school districts in San Antonio are using (or planning to use) “Draw the Line, Respect the Line” human sexuality curriculum in their Middle Schools: North East ISD, Edgewood ISD, Harlandale ISD, East Central ISD, Southside ISD, South San ISD, and San Antonio ISD. Please know this is not intended to be an accurate or exhaustive list but a list to help you start your research.
Curricula that stress abstinence are: Heritage Keepers, Choosing the Best, Aspire, Pure and Simple, and Best Friends. This list is not exhaustive, but these are the programs I know of that have received Texas Title V Grant Funding and meet the “stress abstinence” requirements. In evaluating other programs I would suggest the following:
1. Review the curriculum in detail.
2. Ask the district or instructors to show you where in the student instruction the curriculum discusses what abstinence is, why abstinence is the right choice for unmarried school aged children, how to choose abstinence, and how to feel good about doing so. If they are unable to do so or they make light of your request by making blanket statements without actually showing you in the student instruction, you are at risk of your child attending a program that does not stress abstinence.
PLEASE OPT YOUR CHILDREN OUT of Human Sexuality Education unless you can verify that your school district is teaching a curriculum that stresses abstinence! It is important that we as parents take a stand and let the public schools know we are the parents of our children and we will hold them accountable for the decisions they make that affect our children’s moral character! Our children cannot afford for us to put our heads in the sand!
Please know that the contents of this article are the opinions of Melissa Beckett. To learn more about “Draw the Line, Respect the Line” and its dangers to your children, check out her Facebook videos: https://www.facebook.com/pg/flagontheplaybymelissabeckett/videos/?ref=page_internal.
Sources of Information:
Texas Education Code: To see the specific requirements of the Texas Education Code go to TEC 28.004 Section (e) Items (1-5).
“Draw the Line, Respect the Line” Program Findings: “The study found no statistically significant program impacts for girls on any of these outcomes for any of the follow-up periods.” To view the detailed report, go to: https://tppevidencereview.aspe.hhs.gov/document.aspx?rid=3&sid=49&mid=7
Report supporting that “Draw the Line, Respect the Line” curriculum among others are in-effective: http://www.choosingthebest.com/newsroom/abstinence-related-news/95-hhs-report-shows-lack-of-effectiveness-for-evidence-based-sex-ed-programs
CDC Study says Teen Virgins are Healthier than their Sexually Active Peers: Stay Informed. Don’t by into the lie that Abstinence Education in Texas doesn’t work.
CDC Study Says Teen Virgins Are Healthier Than Their Sexually Active Peers