NEISD Should Promote Authentic Health Programs
Phil Sevilla, Texas Leadership Coalition
Address to the members, superintendent, and staff of the NEISD School Board of Trustees at Board meeting, April 11, 2016.
Intro: I'm speaking here tonight on the subject of the NEISD sex education program. I attended the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) meeting on March 29th. At that meeting, the committee voted to recommend the sex ed program, "Draw the Line. Respect the Line". (I am concerned that children as young as these Boy Scouts who were here tonight will be exposed to this sex education program.)
Proper sex education for a child is dependent on the actual maturity of the child. Schoolbased sex education programs can often times lead to the deformation of a child’s conscience.
Many psychologists and psychiatrists have spoken out against sex education instruction in schools, pointing out its damaging effect on children. "Sex education programs from pre-kindergarten through high school continuously belittle the intimate, affectionate, monogamous nature of human sexuality."1
If the school district provides sex education instruction which contributes to premature sexual activity resulting in unwanted pregnancies and/or sexually transmitted infections, should the schools not be held legally liable for the consequences of their sex education programs which include the use of contraceptives?
Promoting a sex education program for middle school aged children which includes the proper use of condoms not only robs the child of his/her innocence during what is known as the latency period when his or her energies are primarily directed towards acquiring knowledge on a whole range of academic subjects but actually encourages the loss of self control while belittling the development and practice of virtue.
Condom promotion in any school program is unethical and unsafe.
It is unethical and unjust because the school is co-opting the authority and responsibility of parents or guardians whose obligation to the child's formation and upbringing is preeminent.
Promoting "Safe" Sex in school health programs is not so safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approx. 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STI) are reported while approx. 50,000 HIV infections are diagnosed in the US annually.2
According to the CDC's (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) "Condom Fact Sheet (Condom Effectiveness), updated March 2013:
"Condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.3
Do condoms break? Yes. "Inconsistent or nonuse can lead to STD acquisition because transmission can occur with a single sex act with an infected partner. Incorrect use diminishes the protective effect of condoms by leading to condom breakage, slippage, or leakage."4
The National Center for Biotechnology Information reported that "(t)he consistent use of latex condoms continues to be advocated for primary prevention of HIV infection despite limited quantitative evidence regarding the effectiveness of condoms in blocking the sexual transmission of HIV."5
The Texas Education Code section on Local School Health Education Instruction ((28.004 Section E-J) directs schools to "emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, if used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome."
The NEISD school board should evaluate a successful evidence-based abstinence program approved by the Texas Health Department such as Heritage Keepers before making a crucial decision that will impact the lives of so many middle school children in NEISD.
1 "A Psychoanalytic Look at Today's Sex Education", Dr. Melvin Anchell http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Ed/Psy&SexEd.htm
Presentation by Gerald Ripley
Members of the Board, Mr. Superintendent:
Five years ago, George Hill played basketball for the Spurs. He was a good defender. He was a decent back-up point guard. He could shoot the 3-ball. Best of all, George Hill was mentally tough. In Coach Pop’s words, “George is fearless”. He was one of Pop’s favorite players.
On draft day in 2011, George Hill was traded for Kawai Leonard. George was proven. Kawai was not but Kawai had a ton of upside.
Today I don’t imagine even 2 NBA General Managers would choose George Hill over Kawai Leonard. Leonard has become an All Star. He’s a Super Star already.
I have studied the Heritage Keepers curriculum and believe it is as superior to the Draw The Line curriculum as Kawai Leonard is to George Hill.
Both HK and DTL are evidence-based.
Both HK and DTL believe students are capable of drawing the line, setting limits, choosing to not have sex. Let me cite three points from the research evidence for DTL.
I quote: “Our findings suggest that the Draw The Line/ Respect The Line curriculum produced several positive and programmatically important behavioral effects among boys but not among girls”. (End-Quote) That is to say, DTL worked for boys but not for girls. We all know it’s girls who get pregnant when teens have sex.
Again I quote: “Contrary to expectations, we found no effects on condom use at last intercourse for boys or girls.” (End-Quote) i.e., The percent of students who didn’t use condoms was the same for those who took DTL as it was for those who didn’t go through DTL. The teaching on condoms had no behavioral effect!
I quote: “We also experienced a relatively high level of nonparticipation on the survey at baseline (24% of students who returned consent forms were denied participation in the survey). Although we do not have demographic data on these students, we do know that the majority of parents who refused participation did so because they felt their children were too young to complete a survey on sexual behavior.” (End-Quote)
I believe SHAC realized this high non-participation percentage. There was considerable discussion and concern expressed about what the non-participants would be doing when DTL was being taught.
Now let me report the research evidence for HK.
1. A year after the program ended:
Students participating in the intervention were less likely to report having ever had sex. They were 3x more likely to abstain from sex than non-program students.
2. HK is equally effective across age, gender and race. HK helps girls as well as boys. This makes HK far superior to DTL.
I have two additional points for HK:
1. The Texas Health Dept. has money allocated to pay for public school training in HK and will also provide materials for the students. This saves the school district in implementation costs.
2. HK does not teach on condoms. This removes a major stumbling block for parents who chose the non-participation option.
I submit to you that HK is a more effective and clearly superior curriculum.
I believe you should select HK instead of SHAC’s recommendation of DTL.
If for whatever reason you should choose to proceed with DTK, then I ask you to select BOTH curricula.
Let parents have the choice. Parents have the right to choose, to opt in or opt out.
Give them another option, the option that helps girls too. Give them the option to choose HK.
NEISD Parent shares a comparisson between the movie Concussion and the School Board
Reasons why proposed Sex Ed Curriculum Draw the Line/Respect the Line is unacceptable:
Parents were not notified or invited to be a part of the sex ed selection process. Texas Education Code 28.004:
(i) Before each school year, a school district shall provide written notice to a parent of each student enrolled in the district of the board of trustees' decision regarding whether the district will provide human sexuality instruction to district students. If instruction will be provided, the notice must include:
(1) a summary of the basic content of the district's human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student, including a statement informing the parent of the instructional requirements under state law;
(2) a statement of the parent's right to:
(A) review curriculum materials as provided by Subsection (j); and
(B) remove the student from any part of the district's human sexuality instruction without subjecting the student to any disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction imposed by the district or the student's school; and
(3) information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of the curriculum to be used in human sexuality instruction, including information regarding the local school health advisory council established under Subsection (a).
(i-1) A parent may use the grievance procedure adopted under Section 26.011 concerning a complaint of a violation of Subsection (i).
(j) A school district shall make all curriculum materials used in the district's human sexuality instruction available for reasonable public inspection.
DTL is an Inferior program: Draw the Line/Respect the Line is an “evidence based” program that can point to only one study. In which it had no effect on the girls and the boys saw a slight aversion to engaging in sexual activity sooner than the control group. On top of these lackluster findings, almost 25% of the student population chose NOT to participate in the Californian study.
Law suits because of inferiority/misinformation: If the District takes on the responsibility of teaching that condoms and other Birth control methods protect against STDs and pregnancy, then the District leaves itself open to lawsuits when these methods fail.
Condoms do not work and the objective of teaching condoms to 13 year olds borders on sexual harassment: Any lesson plan requires reasoning as to why an objective is chosen. If condom instruction (in any capacity) is provided then a logical reasoning is that NEISD wants to prepare 13 year olds to put on a condom or help put a condom on a sexual partner. To advocate that 13 year olds will be engaging in sexual activity means that either statutory rape is occurring and the District does not see a need to address it or that the District condones extreme minors participating in sexual intercourse and provides methods to allow sex to continue, ie condoms.
Heritage Keepers is a better choice or at least SHOULD be a choice that parents can consider: If Draw the Line is an option then the District should allow another program that satisfies a pregnancy avoidance stance such as Heritage Keepers for parents to choose from.
Conflict of interest: Healthy Futures Board Member Diane Bullard is on the SHAC subcommittee responsible for choosing Draw the Line/Respect the Line. At the HS level, the curriculum “Big Decisions” is Healthy Futures curriculum. Essentially this means that professional sex ed advocates can infiltrate a SHAC and push for their own programs to be adopted. A clear conflict of interests.
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