In 2019 and 2020, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) will revise the curriculum standards that guide health education classes, including sex ed, in Texas classrooms. This is the first time that these standards, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) have been updated since the 1990s. Current guidelines heavily stress abstinence until marriage and do not require districts to provide any information on topics such as contraception, STI prevention, consent, or other important areas.
Research shows that evidence-based, comprehensive sex education doesn’t make youth any more likely to become sexually active – it just gives them critical information they need to make healthy decisions. Topics like consent and refusal, healthy relationships, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, contraception, and basic biology – presented in a way that is both medically accurate and respective of the diverse backgrounds of the more than five million students in Texas.
It’s critical that Texans make their voices heard as these important curriculum revisions get underway.
What can you do?
Advocate and mobilize:
- Reach out to your SBOE member and let them know that you support evidence-based sex education that goes beyond just abstinence. Use this tool to find your SBOE member. You can learn more about each SBOE trustee here.
- Mobilize your school group or community. Spread the word about the upcoming revisions.
- Help shape the narrative! Consider writing an op-ed or reaching out to the education reporter at your local newspaper.
- Apply to serve on the workgroups that will help shape the TEKS revisions.