Austin ISD sex ed survey sent to parents

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District is taking another step toward returning sex education for all of its young learners.

The district sent an online survey to parents and guardians to gather feedback on the planned concepts and lessons before the district implements the program next fall, which will first require Board approval. AISD’s school health advisory and then the school board itself.

Sex education has been on hiatus for AISD elementary and middle school students for two years, first due to the pandemic and distance learning, then to ensure district teachings – revamped in 2019 – are consistent with recent changes made by state legislators and education agencies.

“There’s just been a lot of retooling on our end to make sure we’re complying with the new updates,” district spokeswoman Cristina Nguyen told KXAN on Monday.

The survey sent to parents includes links to what exactly children will learn. An overview is available here.

According to the documents, kindergarteners will learn the boundaries and medically accurate names of body parts. 6th, 7th and 8th graders will receive lessons on romantic relationships and the ‘consequences’ of sexual activity, including pregnancy and disease.

Parents and legal guardians will receive a Letter of Authorization to sign at least two weeks prior to the start of instruction. Under new state rules, parents must opt in their children. Students who have been unenrolled will receive “alternative” courses.

The conservative advocacy group Texas Values ​​said it would monitor AISD, ensuring the program meets standards adopted by the state.

“These standards teach optimized health for children,” said Mary Elizabeth Castle, the group’s senior policy adviser. “They teach abstinence, but they also teach healthy family formation. They teach children how to make good decisions and they teach them about diseases.

Austin’s mother Nikki Rivera tells KXAN that when it comes to raising her 5-year-old son Kaydyn, she thinks it’s a team effort, even when it comes to delicate subjects such as sexuality.

“When I send my son to school, I send him to get his teacher to teach him, and when he comes home, I’m his teacher,” Rivera said. “Our children need to know all these things, not just from us. It takes a community.

Parents have until May 6 to complete the survey. The school board is expected to issue a final vote in late June.

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