AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin parents made sure their feedback was heard at a packed Austin ISD school board meeting Monday night, with many of them sounding off about the district’s new sex-education curriculum.
The new sex-education curriculum at AISD spanning grades three to eight includes learning the names of body parts and learning to identify trusted adults for the youngest children and dating violence, pregnancy options and safe surrender policies for the oldest.
Parents in the back of the room held up signs stating their positions. One group supported comprehensive sex education, including the use of contraception and LGBTQ inclusivity.
“Some say that since the age of consent is 17, kids should only learn about abstinence until sex is legal. I would argue that we can warn kids about the risks of driving before the legal age while still teaching them to wear their seatbelt,” said Susanne Kerns of Informed Parents of Austin.
The other side held signs saying the updated curriculum equates to pornography.
“This district teaches kids to say no to drugs, alcohol, smoking, vaping,” said Caryl Ayala with Concerned Parents of Texas. “Why not engaging in sexual activity?”
Former Councilman Don Zimmerman sent a statement opposing the curriculum for third graders and said sex education “should not be a priority” for the school district over math, science and literacy.
“Every hour spent sexualizing young children is an hour lost on actually educating children to make wise decisions on their own as adults,” Zimmerman wrote.
AISD administrators are working to have an official plan approved by the school board in October. The school district has been playing catch-up as it fine-tunes its sex education curriculum.