A public discussion on sex education curriculum is looming at one local school system in the metroplex.
Fort Worth ISD is soon expected to hold at least two public meetings to field comments on its curriculum ahead of the next school year. Texas law requires that public input be taken into account when developing such programs.
After the public meetings, a sex education curriculum will be recommended by the district to the school board, which will determine whether it meets state standards before deciding whether to adopt it. Such standards include providing information on contraceptives, STIs, and healthy relationships. By law, parents can choose whether their children attend such classes by signing opt-in letters.
While this process appears straightforward, the endeavor to develop a sex education curriculum has proved quite challenging at Fort Worth ISD.
The program HealthSmart, provided by a California-based vendor, was slated for use by the district during the 2022-2023 school year, however, Superintendent Angélica Ramsey suspended it after parents and community members spoke out against the program and the provider at school board meetings, as previously covered by The Dallas Express.
Some stakeholders called for a Christian curriculum emphasizing abstinence, while others voiced their opposition to any discussion of gender identity or transgender issues in any proposed sex education programming. Others defended the program and emphasized the necessity of teaching safe sex and gender ideology.
A total of $2.6 million of taxpayer money had already been handed over to the vendor to launch the program.
This summer, Fort Worth ISD’s school board began reviewing sex education instructional materials and considering new vendors, as The Dallas Express reported. It remains to be seen whether the same issues will be raised at upcoming school board meetings.
At nearby Dallas ISD, the second largest school system in Texas, the sex education curriculum instituted this year included the Out for Safe Schools program run by the Dallas Resource Center, which facilitates transgender hormone usage and provides references for sex alteration surgeries, as covered previously by The Dallas Express.