At long last, Austin ISD’s new comprehensive sex ed (Human Sexuality & Responsibility) lessons will be taught this fall!
As we know all too well, sex-ed opponents are also quite comprehensive in their misinformation about sex ed so it’s up to all of us to know the truth and make sure to address any lies as soon as we hear them.
The easiest way to do this is to simply ask someone with a wild claim about what’s included in the sex ed lessons to show you the specific lesson. All AISD sex ed lessons are available online so if someone claims, “the new sex ed lessons are teaching kids how to give oral sex” – ask them to send you the specific link for that lesson, because they absolutely will not find one.
That being said, there’s a chance that someone may have an issue with an actual lesson. For example, we’ve heard many anti-sex-ed folx claim that teaching kids the proper names for their body parts, like penis and vulva, is somehow pornographic or not age appropriate. To the contrary, there’s a wealth of research supporting why this knowledge, as well as information around consent and respect for others is so critical at every age. If you need help with some stats and research, you can find more here.
Also, if you’re confused about the new opt in requirements for sex ed in AISD, you’re not alone! Most importantly, know that you do need to OPT IN to sex ed this year. This is different than previous years. Spread the word.
When do permission forms go out? Permission forms will go out about 3 weeks before the start of instruction of the lessons. For elementary schools, that will likely be in November (there are fewer lessons and will be taught all in one week December 12-17). For secondary, it should go out in about mid-October (I don’t have the exact dates for teaching at secondary yet.)
How do permission forms go out? There will be a google form that will go out via email for all classes but there will also be paper copies available. Campuses/teachers will be in charge of this process so it will vary.
What happens if guardians don’t return the slips? Each campus principal is required by district policy to hold a parent meeting about the HSR process so look for that to happen at about the same time as letters should be going out. Again, though, the permission letter process will be run by campuses/teacher so while the district will be sending out reminders to them, how they follow up could vary campus by campus.
Continue to follow up here: https://www.austinisd.org/pe-health/health-education/hsr