ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Raising middle school-aged kids can be a challenge. Ann Okamura has had “the talk” with her kids, but that doesn’t mean they want to talk to her about sex.
“They will just clam up, they say ‘you know I don’t want to talk about this,’ they may even walk away,” explains Okamura. That’s where Okamura says schools should play a role in sex education.
Round Rock Independent School District is holding forums to inform parents of its sex education curriculum that promotes abstinence. Okamura attended one of the forums this week.
“When they came to the part on contraception they basically said ‘we don’t discuss that, we believe that should be discussed in the home,'” says Okamura. “I think schools should let them know about what’s healthy, different types of contraception if that’s the way they want to go, and of course I want them to promote abstinence.”
Round Rock ISD has had the same sex ed curriculum for five years: Scott & White Worth the Wait. The district’s Student Health Advisory Committee, made up of parents and community members, reviews it every year.
For example, in 7th grade they talk about how sexually transmitted diseases spread, in 8th grade, they discuss why it’s sometimes hard to say ‘no,’ and overall, abstinence as the only sure way to avoid diseases and pregnancy.
Francine Galko opted to pull her son out of the program. “A lot of scare tactics, shaming, guilt,” Galko said.
These mothers want to make sure their children are prepared, as well as children who don’t have a supportive family they can talk to about sex. The district says it will take parents’ feedback and bring it to the board of trustees which has the final say.
Round Rock encourages parents to talk their children about sex, as it is associated with reduced risk behaviors. The district’s sex education curriculum includes help on how to bring it up.
Every school district has its own sex education curriculum. Leander Independent School District also teaches abstinence as part of its sex education. Austin ISD says it teaches abstinence as the only sure protection from risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, but the curriculum includes information on contraception. Hutto ISD uses a program called “Big Decisions” which teaches abstinence as well as other contraceptive use.
The next Round Rock ISD forum will be held Thursday night at Hernandez Middle School at 6 p.m.