Every eight years, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) adopts new textbooks and instructional materials for a given subject area, rotating through the subjects each year. This year, on November 19, the SBOE will consider adoption of health education textbooks, a curriculum which includes instruction on human sexuality and the beginning of Life. Pro-Lifers are interested in promoting a Pro-Life culture and educating Texans on the miracle of Life. Thus, we sent a letter to each of the fifteen SBOE members urging them to adopt only life-affirming instructional materials and to reject anti-Life materials.
When the SBOE adopts a textbook or a learning tool, that does not mean that the tool is now required reading for all Texas school districts; rather, adoption acts as a stamp of approval, signifying that a learning tool meets all of the Essential Knowledge and Skills. For this month’s meeting, there are four instructional materials up for consideration. A review of these materials proves that none of them is adequately life-affirming; in fact, some of them are explicitly anti-Life.
One of the online tools offers abortion as a viable option for teens facing pregnancy, intentionally mischaracterizing abortion as a “safe” means of “ending the pregnancy.” A second online tool provides a direct link to Planned Parenthood’s website, connecting students to the largest abortion business in the United States and Texas. This tool also encourages pregnant teens to reach out to the ACLU and to Jane’s Due Process, two anti-Life organizations. These learning tools are intended for middle school students, who are typically aged 11-14.
Each of the proposed tools fall short of explaining that Life begins at conception, a basic scientific fact that has been sadly politicized. They go out of their way to use the term “fetus” in reference to preborn children, downplaying the humanity and value of these precious human lives. Any textbook that does this should not be upheld as the standard for Texas education.
The SBOE is not required to approve any of these materials. If they choose not to, then textbook selection is left entirely up to individual school districts, without guidance from the SBOE. Therefore, Texas Right to Life has formally asked the SBOE not to approve any of the materials currently being proposed. Texas children deserve to learn the truth about when Life begins and how valuable human Life is — both before and after birth. They deserve to not be told lies about abortion and the abortion industry. Our public officials should not rubber stamp any educational materials that fail to teach Texas children the scientific truths about Life.
The materials will be considered in committee and a final decision will be made on Friday, Nov. 19.
Update 11/19/2021: The State Board of Education rejected the pro-abortion curriculum. Stay tuned to TexasRightToLife.com to read more.