A new sex-education curriculum will teach children in Austin, Texas about sexual orientation, as well as how to use prophylactics. Parents say the initiative encourages kids to engage in unhealthy and dangerous sexual activity.
Austin Independent School District’s board unanimously approved the new course material on Tuesday. The curriculum, which spans grades three through eight, will touch upon gender identity – a first for the district. Seventh graders (12-year-olds) will also learn about how to correctly use a condom. Proponents of the new guidelines said that it’s important to foster “healthy communication” about sex and relationships, as well as to reaffirm the district’s support for the LGBTQ community.
Plenty of parents were less than thrilled about the new changes, however.
“[The curriculum] encourages minor children to engage in vaginal, oral, and anal sexual activity through the comprehensive sex ed they’re voting on,” Carol Ayala, the director of Concerned Parents of Texas, told local media.
Others expressed fears that focusing on gender identity at such a young age would be detrimental to children who barely understand their own biology.
Demonstrations both for and against the curriculum were held outside the board meeting. A group of parents opposed to the course material were countered by a trans woman who shouted “trans lives matter” as she was hauled off by police.
— Tom Miller (@TomMillerKXAN) October 28, 2019
The district says that parents will have the chance to opt out of the sex-ed curriculum lessons for their children. The new curriculum could be in place as early as May 2020.