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New Texas law threatens Planned Parenthood sex-ed curriculum that normalizes child sex

Middle schoolers ‘role-play’ drunk sex, lesbian sex

A new Texas law that bans government partnerships with abortion providers and their affiliates could endanger the capital’s proposed sex education lessons for middle schoolers.

The Austin Independent School District’s proposed curriculum, developed in part by Planned Parenthood’s Massachusetts affiliate, covers topics including gender, abstinence, sex, contraception, and STDs.

It gets students grades 6-8 “comfortable talking about sexuality” through games and role-playing, according to a photo shared by a former school board candidate.

“We don’t know how [the new law] is going to affect what AISD is going to put forth, it does complicate the issue,” Cynthia Soli, co-chair of the AISD Student Health Advisory Committee, told KXAN last week.

The news station portrayed the new law as putting the curriculum on “life support.” It led the school board to put off a scheduled June 17 vote on the $86,000 curriculum until August.

Senate Bill 22 bans “certain transactions between a governmental entity and an abortion provider or affiliate of the provider.”

The district’s proposed purchase of the Planned Parenthood-influenced curriculum could be considered a prohibited “taxpayer resource transaction.” It could also get snagged by a ban on “advocacy or lobbying” by the school district “on behalf of the interests” of abortion providers and their affiliates.

Even before Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law last week, AISD’s proposal had stirred controversy online and among parents for its “normalization” of sexual and drug-related scenarios.

Austin ISD is the fifth largest school district in Texas, composed of 130 schools and 80,100 students. It teaches a “human sexuality and responsibility unit” to all grades beginning in kindergarten, though families can choose to opt out of these lessons.

‘Seems like a brilliant marketing strategy’ for abortion provider

In a late May Facebook post, former school board candidate Sam Russo spoke out against the curriculum, showing a photo of a workbook page on “role-play.” (KXAN said the school district only let parents view the lessons in person.)

He said it was designed to “over sexualize our children and then get them dependent on Planned Parenthood. Seems like a brilliant marketing strategy. This is not sex education. It is propaganda.”

Russo asked rhetorically if “parents are just not paying attention,” but warned them that the curriculum has 7th graders “role play getting drunk, having oral and vaginal sex in hetero and homosexual relationships. Little much?”

The role-play page gives students skills in “refusal” and “negotiation” in various sexual situations.

MORE: University’s sex class reportedly includes porn raffle

One activity read: “Carlos and Veronica got drunk at a party and had vaginal intercourse last weekend. Now Veronica wants to have sex again, but Carlos doesn’t want to. What should Carlos do?”

Another describes a girl whose boyfriend “has had a lot of partners.” She’s wary of asking him to wear a condom “because he’s said he doesn’t like to use them. What should Briana do?”

A third describes a young lesbian couple, one of whom is pressuring the other to engage in oral sex. Her friends agree it will “bring them closer together,” but her mother wants her to wait “until she is older. … What should she do?”

The sex-ed program is titled “Get Real – Comprehensive Sex Education That Works.” It was developed by Planned Parenthood and ETR, an organization with the mission of “advancing health equity.”

A spokesperson for the school district told The College Fix that it spent three years on a “comprehensive” update to the human sexuality curriculum after more than 10 years with no update.

“The process entailed a series of community meetings with families of the district and online feedback, as well as a review process,” the spokesperson wrote in an email Wednesday, two days before Abbott signed the bill:

The curriculum for the elementary aged children is written by district staff and the middle school curriculum was selected as a result of an RFP (Request for Proposal) process that included that lessons were evidenced-based as part of a rubric.

MORE: Sexuality textbook suggests watching ‘sexual interactions’ at preschools

“Before the proposed lessons are taught to students, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees will vote to approve the curriculum this summer,” the spokesperson said. She did not answer a followup question over the weekend, after Abbott signed SB 22, about the impact of the law.

Russo believes the new law is the death knell of the Get Real curriculum. It will be “illegal once this law goes into effect thanks to our friends at the State,” he wrote in a Saturday Facebook post.

The former school board candidate, whose son is enrolled in AISD, isn’t letting up on the district for its moves on sexuality. He mocked it Sunday for funding an LGBT pride parade when the district claims to not have money for “basic needs like textbooks, lunch monitors, or buses for field trips.”

Teaches children to not trust their parents

Planned Parenthood’s role in sex ed curricula has gone beyond Austin and Russo.

Pro-life activist Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and subject of the biographical film “Unplanned,” posted the same photo of the curriculum shortly after Russo.

In a Facebook post to her quarter-million followers, Johnson said she “used to teach this type of curriculum” and called it “a very common program used in public schools.”

The titles on the “role-play” page are intentionally misleading, she said. The purpose is to teach children that the sexual situations are normal for their age, “that their parents are not a safe place to turn when they have questions, and to get them into Planned Parenthood clinics so that they can further separate children from their parents.”

Her family also lives in Texas, and Johnson said her own 7th grade daughter “was absolutely appalled” by the proposed Austin curriculum:

NOT all kids are in these situations at that age. NOT all kids are exposed to these types of scenarios. And NOT all kids are sexually active at this age. But I can tell you first hand that the people educating your kids through this program expect that they are and they have zero problems telling your kids that it’s completely normal if they are.

Homeschooling is not an answer to these programs for many families whose only option is the public schools, Johnson told her followers.

“It’s time to speak out in a big way … It’s time to go to school board meetings,” she wrote. “It’s time to set up group meeting with the school administrations. It’s time to be that squeaky wheel. Our kids are worth it. We have got to get this filth out of our schools.”

MORE: Harvard Sex Week includes 3D printing dildos

MORE: Austin American-Statesman/YouTube

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About the Author
Edyta Wolk -- Franciscan University of Steubenville