“Texas is a very diverse state, obviously, and the 200-plus rural school districts that I represent, I wanted to give them the freedom and the latitude to include some of those items in their curriculum, in their teaching, if they choose to do so,” he mentioned at Friday’s meeting.
More than 20 hours of public remark, from throughout the political spectrum, had been heard in June and September over revisions of the state’s well being schooling requirements. Ricardo Martinez, the chief government of Equality Texas, an L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy group, testified a number of occasions forward of Friday’s vote and mentioned that excluding language about gender identification, sexual orientation and consent hindered college students’ capacity to navigate the world.
“You change hearts and minds by educating people about the lived experiences of those around them,” he mentioned in an interview. “Robbing folks, especially at this age, from receiving their vital information of how you can make other people feel included, you’re shortchanging them and their preparedness to go out into the world.”
Mary Elizabeth Castle, a coverage adviser with the conservative group Texas Values, mentioned that the board’s rulings towards language about consent and L.G.B.T.Q. identification had been a transparent sign to promote “sexual risk avoidance for children.”
“Leftist, political and personal ideologies have no place in science-based common-sense health education, which is why efforts to add sexual orientation and gender identity topics failed,” she mentioned.
Dan Quinn, a spokesman and analysis director with the Texas Freedom Network, mentioned most Texans are in favor of complete intercourse schooling, regardless of what he referred to as “fear tactics” by opponents.
A public opinion ballot carried out by one other nonpartisan group, The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, discovered that about 75 p.c of respondents, together with 68 p.c of Republicans, had been in help of schooling that coated abstinence and contraceptives.