(NewsNation) — One school district in Texas is out millions of dollars after changing the sex education curriculum.
The Fort Worth Independent School District approved the purchase of new materials from California-based publisher HealthSmart. The district has been using the program since 2014, but superintendent Angélica Ramsey announced on Friday the district would not be offering sex ed in the coming year and would be revisiting the curriculum materials.
Texas is one of few states that requires parents to opt-in to allowing their children to take sex ed. There is no requirement for it to be offered at any level and some schools don’t offer any sex education at all.
In 2022, Texas updated sex ed guidelines for the first time since the 1990s. While the state’s approach is still abstinence-first, the new guidelines also include information on contraception and sexually transmitted infections.
The curriculum does not include topics like consent, gender, or LGBTQ+ specific issues. It also does not include any education on abortion.
According to reporting from the Texas Tribune, the Fort Worth ISD school board approved the purchase of new materials from HealthSmart as a routine matter last April.
However, at a January meeting, around 30 parents and community members attended a school board meeting where the majority spoke against the program.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported concerns from parents included worries that the curriculum sexualized children. Opponents objected to topics including gender identity and sexual health, as well as a lack of religious focus.
Some parents wanted a Christian-based curriculum, while others wanted sex education to be left out of the district’s curriculum entirely.
Ramsey announced the district would be delaying all sex education until the following school year and a school board appointed School Health Advisory Council will be examining alternative curriculum options.