Middle school students in Texas were able to learn about contraception, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and how to build healthy relationships this year as the sex education curriculum was updated for the first time in more than 20 years.
- Abstinence remains a major focus of pregnancy prevention.
Important reasons: Texas has the 9th highest teenage birth rate in the nation, behind Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
what’s happening: Under the change, which was approved by the state school board in 2020 and went into effect this month, students in grades 7 and 8 will be able to learn about different birth control methods, including condoms and birth control pills.
- At the high school level, topics are taught in health classes, but are not required to graduate.
Yes, but: Parents and Guardians Must Do Now opt in in the sex education curriculum.
- Also, the material does not cover sexual health issues in the LGBTQ+ community.
State of play: Dallas-based North Texas Alliance to Reduce to Teen Pregnancy (NTARUPT) has merged with Austin-based Texas Campaign to Teen Pregnancy and San Antonio-based Texas Healthy Futures to create a statewide 10 It has come to serve as a teenage pregnancy prevention program.
- The bipartisan organization, which now operates under the name Healthy Futures of Texas, focuses on ensuring equal access to sex education and preventing teenage pregnancies, primarily in the Dallas area, San Antonio, and the Valley. I’m putting
What they say: Students should be taught what a healthy relationship looks like if it is not modeled at home so that they can make informed romantic decisions.
- “They really need so much information and access to make these good life choices. We need to make it easy for them to make good life choices.
environment: Re-election governor Greg Abbott has promised some kind of custody bill to give parents more say in their children’s education.
- In September, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 9, allowing parents to choose whether to receive education on child abuse, domestic violence, and sex trafficking prevention.
By numbers: Although the overall teenage fertility rate has been declining for decades, Texas still has 22.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19.
Means: For more information, visit texasisready.org.