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Health Education in Texas Public Schools Depends on You

By May 1, 2020Texas
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Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are the standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBOE) to guide what our children need to accomplish in a given discipline at each grade level.  Textbooks are then written to conform to these standards. Every ten years, the TEKS are revised for a given discipline.  You the public have the opportunity to shape the standards by providing feedback on the standards to your elected State Board of Education member.  This year, the Health Education TEKS are being revised. Textbooks will also be revised in the coming months.

Health Education TEKS – Drafts Available for Review
The Health Education TEKS Work Groups proposals are posted online here. Work Group E is currently working on merging the six proposals from the four workgroups.  Once that is completed, the final draft will be posted in May. As soon as the Work Group E drafts are posted and the May SBOE Meeting details are announced, we will provide those links and details.

Several of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) core issues are impacted by the current revisions (these are noted and addressed below the signature line.*) This is why CWA of Texas is encouraging you to review the draft proposals of the standards and then write a letter to your elected State Board of Education member with any concerns you have on the standards.

Immediate Action Needed

  1. Please review the proposed standards.
  2. Write a letter to your member of the State Board of Education, addressing any of your concerns on the proposed standards. Click here to find your State Board of Education member. Be sure to let him/her know that you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Texas.
  3. Enlist parents and grandparents to review the standards and voice their concerns.

Please Pray
Our Heavenly Father, You have gifted parents in Texas with 5,431,910 precious children who are now enrolled in Texas public schools.  The future of our nation and, more importantly, Your Kingdom depends on their training.  Your word says in Psalm 172:3-5:

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”

We understand that You have entrusted this gift to us, and You have instructed us how to care for them:
“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”  Deuteronomy 6:6.

Please guide us and help us be energetic and unwavering in protecting these children from a secular world that aims to remove their innocence. Help us raise them up to be clean vessels for your kingdom.

Ann Hettinger
State Director

*Suggestions related to CWA’s core issues:

SE – Student Expectations

Students should learn to respect the Sanctity of Life by recognizing that the baby in the womb is a life and that the baby is created through the natural and beautiful act of the marital embrace between a man and woman.  Therefore, SEs that address fetal development should include information similar to the Women’s Right to Know booklet published by Texas Health and Human Services.  SEs on life stages of a human being should include more than just birth, dying, and death.  Pregnancy should not be listed as a “consequence” of sexual activity as if that is the worst thing that can happen while sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are presented as normal and treatable at such young ages.  Skin to skin, oral sex, and vaginal sex are listed as modes of STD/STI transmission for 7-8 graders as if the three sexual activities are equal.  We support sexual risk avoidance (SRA) as an optimal primary health prevention strategy.  This teaches that students should reserve intimate sexual activity until they are married.  The secondary intervention strategy, sexual risk reduction (SRR) moderates that by teaching about the use of contraceptives.

In Defense of the Family, we are encouraged that the workgroup in charge of revising that section, includes a SE stating that the “process of fertilization occurs between a man and a woman through sexual intercourse.”  Texas TEKS should reflect the expectations of abstinence outside of marriage promoting lifelong fidelity and healthy family formation.  When students learn about the different body systems, the reproductive system is the only system in which each human being has only half of the system.  The other half of the system is required to complete the reproductive system, a natural truth of the complementarity of the male and female bodies.

Protecting children’s natural innocence is an important part of fighting Sexual Exploitation.  When a young child is introduced to mature subjects on abuse, trafficking, human sexuality, and sexting, they are being groomed for early sexual initiation, risky sexual activity, and sexual exploitation.  SEs should instill their personal value and worth as human beings to protect them against all destructive future risky behaviors.

CWA believes that authority should be returned to parents for all areas of their child’s Education, including Health education.  In the workgroup drafts, “parent” is mentioned 59 times while “trusted adult” is included 53 times.  SEs should always be written to refer children to their parents and legal guardians rather than the public school recognized trusted adult, nurse, or physician.  Fundamentally, human sexuality instruction should be a subject taught by parents so that the parent can customize the message to the individual child’s cognitive ability and maturity level.