Parents Speak Out on Bill to Give Them More Input into School Sex Ed

There was blistering testimony before a State Senate committee on a bill that would expand the rights of parents to have input into the sex education and health curriculum that their children are receiving in public school, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Every school district is required to have a 'School Health Advisory Council,' or 'SHAC,' which is supposed to determine that type of sex and health ed will be taught in the various grades, and the Council is supposed to consist of parents as well as students.

But several parents said conservative and Christian parents are routinely excluded from the 'SHAC,' and Melissa Beckett said one San Antonio district goes out of its way not to listen to parental input.

"North East ISD administration hand-selects parents, community members, and teachers to serve on the 'SHAC,' she said. "Conservative minded parents and community members are blocked from the 'SHAC.'

The proposal, sponsored by State Sen. Angela Paxton (R-Plano) would extend the provisions of the state Open Meetings Law to the 'SHAC' councils, to insure that proper notice of the meetings is provided to all parents, and all parents have the right to speak.

"Would you want to know if your children were asked to play 'Birth Control Bingo?'," parent Ann Newman asked the committee.

Several parents from ISD's around the state testified that they have been specifically excluded from attending meetings of their district's SHAC, and were denied access to materials explaining the proposed curriculum. Some said districts even distract them with 'busy work' to divert their attention from the Council's actions.

The Senate committee left the bill pending.

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