Corpus Christi ISD endorses sex education programs

The Corpus Christi ISD Board of Trustees approved two sex education curricula, along with sex education teaching materials, on Monday night.

What is in CCISD’s sex education programs?

Two approved programs, “Next Up” and “Focus on Success,” are offered by the educational nonprofit Youth Equipped to Succeed. Both programs are abstinence-based.

The “Next Up” program, aimed at fifth graders, is an overview that covers puberty, anatomy and the reproductive process, and healthy relationships.

The Focus on Success program, which includes age-appropriate versions for sixth, seventh and eighth graders and ninth through 12th graders, focuses on the impact of sexual imagery online, in advertising and on the internet. television; the risks of sexting and pornography; and healthy decision-making and relationships.

A sixth grader, for example, would learn healthy ways to express friendship and affection, how to identify sexual abuse and harassment, and unhealthy relationship characteristics such as anger, controlling behavior, jealousy, manipulation and isolation. A lesson on sexual risk would also cover the impact of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and diseases and an explanation of abstinence.

In comparison, an older student would participate in more detailed presentations, learning the signs and symptoms of STIs, the comparative effectiveness of barrier protection and other contraceptive methods, and the legality of underage sexual activity, such as the age of consent and the ramifications of sexual harassment and assault.

The educational materials, offered by Quaver Ed, relate to teaching about human sexuality and preventing child abuse, family violence, dating violence and sex trafficking.

How are sex education programs monitored?

Under state law, school districts must convene a local School Health Advisory Board to review educational materials related to health and physical education, including sex education, and make recommendations. to the school board.

At least one program presented to the board this year was rejected and not presented to the school board.

The RUSH and Making Proud Choices project, proposed by the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, was rejected after community members spoke out against it in April. The foundation offers the program with the goal of preventing teen pregnancy, STIs and substance use.

Some of the same community members, including members of the Nueces County Citizens Liberty Defense Section, attended a Nueces County Commissioners Court meeting this month. oppose the program. The foundation currently has an agreement with the county to offer the program at public libraries in Nueces County to teens in the community with parental consent.

The rejected program recognizes the effectiveness of abstinence in preventing pregnancy and STIs, but also devotes “a lot of time” to encouraging safer sex and condom use because many adolescents are sexually active, according to a presentation submitted to the board in February.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, Texas has one of the highest rates of teenage births. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics estimates that the teenage birth rate in Nueces County in 2020 was 25 per 1,000 women aged 15-19above 22.4 state average.

In May, CCISD SHAC voted to bring the “Next Up” and “Focus on Success” curriculum for young people equipped for school board success after the same application and public comment process under which the program rejected from the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation was reviewed.

The Corpus Christi Independent School District Board listens to a presentation on HB 1525 and SB 9 on July 25, 2022.

In accordance with a change in state law, school sex education programs are offered with parental consent through an opt-in process.

“With these revisions to House Bill 1525 and Senate Bill 9, it has become an opt-in,” said Jennifer Arismendi, Educational Support Manager. “Now, parents must provide consent for their student to attend any type of discussion or teaching on these topics.”

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Parental consent must be given no later than 15 days before the instruction and programs must be posted online for viewing by the public.

Council members are primarily parents, joined by district staff, other community members, and a student from the district. Meetings are public and the community can review the programs and materials under consideration on line.

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“You know, it’s been a really good process where they’ve done multiple readings many times, had conversations to even get to the point of bringing it to the board for recommendation,” Superintendent Roland Hernandez said. .

The Corpus Christi Independent School District Administration Building on July 25, 2022.