AISD Sex Education Vote
The UUMC Leadership Team and your Pastors have written a letter supporting a comprehensive sex ed curriculum for the Austin Independent School District. We're hoping that members and friends will write emails to board members in support of this curriculum. The board will vote on this curriculum on October 28.
Below is a letter that has been circulated to the congregation with more information and detail so that you can help make this happen. And if you do write something, we hope you'll let us know.
Dear Friends and Members of University UMC:
This October, Austin ISD will be voting on whether to adopt a comprehensive 3 - 12 grade sex ed curriculum that has been recommended by its Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC). The SHAC consists of parents, health professionals and school district employees who researched best practices and ways to meet district goals on accuracy and diversity before recommending this curriculum, which includes age-appropriate lessons on consent, gender identity, family planning, puberty, biology and reproductive health.
As a congregation, we support comprehensive sex education. At University UMC, we’ve offered comprehensive, science-based sex education for years through our Our Whole Lives (OWL) program. These programs have been shown to have a very positive effect including: our children making healthier choices and having healthier relationships; fewer unwanted and teen pregnancies; lower rate of STI's and HIV/AIDS transmission; understanding of gender questioning and empathy for those going through it; reduction in sexual abuse and increase in reported abuse.
However, we need your help to get this curriculum adopted for our schools. Two religious groups from outside Austin have been working to keep this curriculum from being adopted. At the last school board meeting, vocal anti-LGBTQ speakers took 60% of the speaking spots. It is very important that the school board and greater community know that this religious minority does not speak for Austin nor for the whole religious community in Austin.
The school board will vote on this curriculum on October 23. Here are some ways that you can help.
1. Attend the September 23 and October 28 school board meetings. Hold a sign, wear a t-shirt, or otherwise identify yourself as a church member who supports a science-based sex ed curriculum.
2. If you have a relevant story, sign up as a supportive speaker. Here are instructions for how to sign up on the AISD board website.
3. If you can’t be at the meetings, we hope that everyone will email the school board members at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are some key points to stress:
I am a voter in AISD and a member of a Christian church.
I believe comprehensive sex education is a basic human right, and should cover issues relevant to students of all genders and sexual orientations.
Please vote in support of the curriculum recommended by the SHAC.
Please keep the current SHAC in place.
Sign with your name and UUMC.
Thank you so much.
Pastors John Elford, Pastor Lisa Blaylock, Pastor Heather Green
UUMC Executive Leadership Team