Sex and the School District
Changes coming to the way AISD does sex ed?
Austin ISD officials are preparing for November public hearings that will inform changes the district could make to its 12-year-old Human Sexuality and Responsibility curriculum for elementary and middle school students. Subject to approval in January, students could begin the new curriculum as soon as May 2020. The new standards adopt a more inclusive view of gender identity, teaching older students that a person's gender does not always align with their biological sex; younger students could be taught lessons that counter gender norms, like that boys don't have to always play football. Students will learn about the basics (puberty, sex, and reproduction), but also about issues such as how social media can affect body image, or about consent in relationships. Meetings will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at Travis ECHS, Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Lanier ECHS, and Thursday, Nov. 15, at Eastside Memorial ECHS, from 6-7:30pm. Parents will also be emailed a survey beginning on Nov. 7 and due back by Nov. 30. Perhaps anticipating pushback, district officials noted that parents could opt out of individual lessons or of the curriculum altogether. Whatever the new standards, the curriculum will remain abstinence-focused, as is required by the Texas Education Code.