0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 630. The word Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a nonprofit organization helping parents cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter, find our video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:35 – Speaker 2
Today’s show is about sex ed curriculum. What you need to know as a parent, Not not we’re gonna tell you here this is good, this is bad. What you need to know about what’s out there.
0:00:47 – Speaker 3
It is shocking to me how many times I’ve been asked this question. Recently I got I’m getting asked it at events, like during our live Q&A group sessions, and we’ve also been contacted directly at nextTalk several times, yeah, in people in private and public schools, which I think is very interesting, and so we thought, okay, we’re gonna do a show about this. We recently met an expert on this topic and she actually has just recently been appointed by the state of Texas to help with health textbook TEECS review committees and she’s kind of working on that right now actually, and she’s gonna join us later. Yeah, we’re gonna get her expertise and information on this. But I thought it may be a good idea to cover, like, how do we handle this when people ask us, like at events, or when we get the emails and people reach out to us directly. What are you saying to them? Because I’m thinking maybe other people want to know.
0:01:39 – Speaker 2
Yeah, from a parent perspective, what you know, what are the things that we share that will help you define and understand what’s out there for your kid and and how to prepare for that when it comes up.
0:01:48 – Speaker 3
Yes, so the first thing that I want to say is always, always know what your kid is learning in sex ed. It’s called health, it can be science, it can be under that, but you know we grew up on the definition of sex ed class. It’s typically presented, though, within science class. You need to know what your kid is learning and, for our district, what that means, and we’re in a public district in Texas. They have parent nights and there’s three nights that you can go. It’s the same thing each three nights. So whatever works for your schedule, and I love it because they have every day curriculum laid out and it’s by grade level, so you can go and look at every sheet that your kid is going to get and see what they’re being taught. I love that. It’s that open and transparent and I feel like every school district needs to have that to where this is easily accessible for parents to know what their kids are being taught.
0:02:44 – Speaker 2
I will tell you my husband has taught sex ed for years. He doesn’t any longer, but he did for years in middle school and he’s taught it in high school also, and in a public and private school, and both of those times they had parent nights. Yeah, and he will be the first to tell you that parents don’t come he. The most parents he’s ever had at a parent night over 19 years is six.
0:03:07 – Speaker 3
Yeah, so we had more at the parent night that I had, but it was probably less than 20. I mean, we have thousands and thousands. And I know it’s a busy time a year. It typically happens around April, end of April, may is our timing when our school rolls it out, and it is a really bad and busy time. But this is important, like you really do, because what your kids are learning in that class is going to affect their choices Absolutely.
0:03:33 – Speaker 2
And so and these are big life choices, you know- Well, and I think what happens to a lot of parents are reverting back to their sex ed class and they’re like, oh, they’re just going to introduce the basics, no big deal, you know, and they’re not realizing how much has changed and how many different programs are out there and what might be brought up for their child nowadays.
0:03:52 – Speaker 3
That’s so important, kim, and it brings me to what I want to talk about next, and that is this I’ve since a lot of jump on a boycott to boycott sex ed curriculum, and I’m not saying don’t boycott the curriculum if it’s bad. But here is my advice and what I feel like every parent needs to know Look at the curriculum first. Yes, and I really want to dive into what I’m talking about here. Sometimes there’s a lot of outrage because, because terms are defined for kids, yes, and we have a mature rating at the beginning of the show. But I’m just going to, if you miss that. I just want to point out we’re getting ready to talk about some stuff, so this is like parent only conversation in the room now in the car?
Yeah, however, you’re listening. So here’s the thing Anal sex and oral sex have to be defined for kids. They don’t believe their sex. There is a trend it’s like an underground trend, if you were, so to speak that kids believe that they can have anal sex and still be okay because they’re keeping their virginity, and then that translates into there’s no danger with that.
Well, we know as adults, there’s lots of STDs that can be transmitted through anal and oral sex, and so what I look for in my kid’s curriculum, like I want those terms defined for them. I want them to know that it is sex. However, that’s where I feel like the line should be drawn. We shouldn’t be going into what sexuality is okay and what you know. That, to me, is a parent decision, and that’s what I look for in a curriculum. I want you to define the terms for my kids. I want them to know that it’s sex. I want them to know that STDs are transferred, but please don’t tell my kids how to have beliefs or who to be in relationship with or whatever. I feel like that’s each parent’s job.
0:05:54 – Speaker 2
Fact versus opinion or belief. That’s the line and that kind of makes it easy when you’re looking at the curriculum, if you take the time to go in there, or a lot of districts will even make it available to you online where you can access it and review it ahead of time before you sign off on it. When you’re looking at that, when you’re reading the material, are you reading facts or do you see opinion or suggestion or some different innuendo that it would push your kids in a certain direction? That’s when I think those red flags need to go off.
0:06:25 – Speaker 3
Well, I mean, just like you know, we can’t teach religion in school, you know there’s that line that you can’t cross. The same thing happens in this situation. Should us parents talk about it? Absolutely, and we’re gonna do another show. It’s to really dive into that, how you can do it effectively at home, like talking to your kids about sex, and we have some other shows that we’ve already done, that we’re gonna reference on that. We want you to be prepared for this conversation, but we really do feel like it’s a. It’s a your family, your choice situation.
And if you’re listening and you’re like how did we get here? Like, how are we talking about anal sex right now? Right, it’s the pornography, like I just wanna be completely honest with you Pornography, our kids are singing it younger and younger and it’s shaping how they view sex. One of the most searched terms on Pornhub in 2019 was anal. You need to know that as a parent, because it is going to define how your kids see sex and view sex, and that’s a fact. That’s not my opinion. That’s not. That is Pornhub released this data and said here are our most searched terms.
If you ever hear kids talking about pH, are you down with the pH. That’s Pornhub. They’re talking about Pornhub. They watch Pornhub like they watch YouTube and I it’s hard to hear that. I know that is super hard to hear, but like if you don’t know that your kids are gonna become victim to being taught about sex through pornography and that’s what I don’t want for your kids. Like I want us parents to rise up and be the educators of our kids about sex and what it looks like and how to have it in a healthy way, a good way.
0:08:06 – Speaker 2
I’m so glad that you brought that up because that brings up another point about understanding the curriculum and thinking ahead about the class that your kid is gonna be in. So let’s say that you go to that parent night, let’s say that you ask all the questions and you decide that it’s a good curriculum. You still have to prepare and have conversations with your kid before that class starts, because what’s gonna happen is they may go into that class with a curriculum that you’re okay with, but there’s still gonna be conversations and the teacher is still human and you cannot expect that there won’t be something said that’s an opinion, whether it’s a student or teacher. So you have to, ahead of time, talk to your kids.
0:08:45 – Speaker 3
Yes, now I know in our district we have a situation where you can’t ask questions, you have to write your questions on a card because it shuts some of that down. But Kim is 100% right, because even if the teachers try to shut it down, there’s gonna be talk on the way home from school on the bus, there’s gonna be talk at lunch. And they also say do not discuss this with your friends. They do.
0:09:09 – Speaker 2
Oh, come on, let’s be real.
0:09:10 – Speaker 3
When you say don’t discuss it, then they discuss it even more right? Yes, and so you do need to have. And what I also love about our school curriculum we have sheets and it’s actually called let’s talk or something like that, but it’s talking points that you come home and basically it’s you putting in your morals and beliefs into this conversation.
Like it’s encouraging you to do that, but it’s like we’re not gonna tell you how to do that. This is what you need to talk about, and so there’s follow up conversations Love that, the other thing I truly believe, and our curriculum does this, and this is why one of the reasons I love it. I believe all sex education should continually remind kids that abstinence for both partners is the only 100% way to protect yourself from unwanted consequences through sex. I love that about our curriculum.
On the slide every day, it comes back to okay, we reviewed all these STDs, we’ve reviewed how to have safe sex, we reviewed all of this stuff. But please know, the only 100% way to protect yourself from this is to abstain. And I love that because my kids would then come home and they would tell me that and then I would be like huh, how funny that the actual scientific fact 100% safety rate is actually come straight from God’s word. Like I make the Bible come alive from them. Maybe this is why God has this restriction on us. It’s not because he hates us or is mean to us or wants us to not be able to have sex. He wants us to do it in a safe and healthy way, and so me as a parent, being able to connect our morals and beliefs with that is huge for me.
0:10:51 – Speaker 2
So maybe you’ve reviewed the curriculum, though, and it doesn’t align with your beliefs or it is opinion-based. Then what do we do as parents?
0:10:59 – Speaker 3
So this is why you have to go to those parent nights and know what your kid is being taught. Yeah, that’s the first step. I have been asked to review some curriculum lately and I was shocked by what I saw, like completely shocked. I thought some parents were kind of overreacting on the boycott thing, but in this situation they were not overreacting. There was like very strong language about love is love and you get to be with whoever you want. And that was it. And in my mind, we did this show on social media messing with your mind. I went back to that hashtag love is love. So does that apply to the 12 year old who wants to run away with a 70 year old she met on Instagram? Does that apply to the student who falls in love with the teacher? Like, no wonder we are having boundary issues If this is what our kids are gonna be taught in sex ed class.
0:11:49 – Speaker 2
Well, and I will tell you, we live in a very conservative area and here we are seeing a lot of that come up. Like my husband just recently went to a seminar and he was like it is completely changed.
0:12:00 – Speaker 3
Well, and as I speak across the country, I’m exposed to way more curriculums as to what has already infiltrated down, and so you definitely need to be aware of what your kids are being taught.
0:12:12 – Speaker 2
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0:12:40 – Speaker 1
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0:13:06 – Speaker 4
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0:13:13 – Speaker 3
If you’re just now tuning in, we have been talking about some stuff. You’re sweating. You are sweating over there. We’ve been using some words today Mature words, adult-only show here, and we have an expert on the line for you now that we want to introduce you to.
0:13:31 – Speaker 2
Yeah, christy. Christy Baca is the author of Saying yes to Saying no, a Parents’ Guide to Values-Based Abstinence. She has over a decade of experience speaking to administration teams, parents and students on the topics of abstinence, cyberbullying prevention and social media integrity, and recently Christy has been appointed by the state to serve on several health textbook TEKS review committees updating TEKS and student expectations for an updated health textbook, which is super cool. Currently, christy works as a health education consultant, helping parents understand the different sex education programs that schools are using and how to advocate for their rights as parents for their children, and you can tell why, just based on that, that we wanted her on the show. Welcome, kristi.
0:14:15 – Speaker 4
Thank you so much for having me. I’m honored to be with you guys today.
0:14:19 – Speaker 3
Well, you’re on the front lines of this thing and we have been asked so much recently like what do we look for in sex ed curriculum? And at the first half of the show we kind of talked through our answer to that and what we’re telling parents and what we’re looking for sex education in our own. But I kind of want you to talk on this bigger scale, like what are you seeing? What is the trends that in general sex education, how they’re changing.
0:14:48 – Speaker 4
So what we’re seeing right now and the trends and the changes of sex education is that well, just for example, austin ISD has adopted a program that is very progressive in what we would call the SRR comprehensive sex education realm, in that it is teaching children gender identity language, it’s introducing gender pronoun language, gender pronoun hospitality. It’s introducing things that are against the parental rights that children have within our state, where I’m seeing trends of comprehensive sex education being attached to services outside of the school, such as Planned Parenthood, which is a direct connection to comprehensive education. But then we’re also seeing a growth in SRA, which is absent education. We’re actually seeing an increase in schools in Texas asking for and looking for absent education programs for their students.
0:15:52 – Speaker 2
Some of the terms that you use. Maybe you could describe it for a little bit. For us like the pronouns, and I don’t think maybe the average parent knows exactly what you mean by that.
0:16:01 – Speaker 4
Thank you for that. So when I say hospitality pronouns, so that would mean like giving children opportunities to talk about whether or not they wanna be referred to as a girl or a boy, and maybe if they wanna be referred to as a boy, they can choose to use the pronoun as he instead of she, even though their biological sex may be a she. Does that make sense?
0:16:28 – Speaker 3
And at what age? What age or kids is this kind of education beginning?
0:16:35 – Speaker 4
Some schools, some programs. It’s beginning in kindergarten, some as early as pre-kindergarten four-year-olds, with books that are talking about how we need to respect our peers with their choice to dress or be referred to as a sex that they are not biologically born as. So pre-K4 and kindergarten is what’s starting.
0:16:56 – Speaker 3
I saw something recently and it wasn’t the school curriculum that you’re referring to, that you just referred to in Texas. It was out of state, but it was a gender spectrum slide and on one side was Barbie and on the other side was Ken, and then in between those it had 10 different variations and then you got to choose who you were. So if you didn’t like to play with Barbies, you weren’t on the girl spectrum, you were mid or over here. And it concerned me, like I’m all for loving people and accepting people if they’re struggling, and I truly do believe that there are a small percentage of kids that really do struggle with this, and so I believe we need to learn to love. But seeing this slide and thinking about it being presented to elementary kids, like if I was on that slide, it would have confused me because I didn’t really love to play with Barbies a lot. So that is my concern. Like that, we are creating confusion when kids don’t really struggle with it.
0:18:06 – Speaker 4
Absolutely. These types of introductions in the classroom are creating a great deal of confusion for children, school-aged children and students that come from Christian homes that are being introduced to concepts that are causing a great deal of confusion, and then it’s just progressing with the language throughout their school experience.
0:18:28 – Speaker 2
You did mention, though, that you also see a rise on some abstinence education being requested, even here in Texas. Give us a little example about that.
0:18:38 – Speaker 4
So I’m a part of a committee that works with different specializations within this sexual health realm and we are what you call sexual risk avoidance specialist because we have a certification that’s approved by legislation from Washington, and those of us that are in the state are receiving more and more requests in the last year than we’ve ever received for schools to have SRA programs. Sra is sexual risk avoidance, which is what used to be called abstinence. So I’m sorry that I don’t have a specific stat for you right now, but I can tell you at our last meeting in January that all of us in our committee are seeing an increase in requests for abstinence programs in Texas.
0:19:25 – Speaker 3
Well, I think what we need to know is, like a general parent. So SRA is what we used to refer to as abstinence. So when we go to our school district, that’s really what we’re looking at. Do you have an SRA curriculum? That’s what we’re wanting.
0:19:40 – Speaker 4
Yes. So yes, you wanna ask for an SRA curriculum, and I have a list of several here that Texas uses and that are used nationwide. And then I also have a list of SRR, which is what used to be comprehensive sex education. The SRR stands for sexual risk reduction, and if you look at those two acronyms next together the SRA risk avoidance and SRR risk reduction you can see clearly why we would wanna choose SRA because we’re teaching all children, even within the LGBTQ community or those who have gender identity issues, holistically what the optimal health decisions can be for them, based on our medically researched curriculum.
0:20:24 – Speaker 3
I love that. I love that it’s reaching everybody. This is a we need to be aware of all of this because we’re putting kids at risk, whether they’re LGBTQ kids, you know, christian. Whatever however they are identified, they are at risk if they’re having sex early and with multiple partners, and so I feel like that is the urgency that we need to be involved in making sure what our kids are being taught.
0:20:53 – Speaker 4
Yes, and just another note on the SRA. I cannot say enough how much emphasis they put on the fact that we are not speaking a religious message or an emphatic message that we’re just saying if you have sex or bad. We’re teaching a message that speaks to the optimal health of all students in a way that presents medically accurate, research-based content to teach them the risks in sexual behavior that all students are participating in. So I really just love that the risk avoidance has taken the place of abstinence because it gives us a more acceptable wording to school districts and to different entities that want sexual health education. But they don’t really gravitate to the word abstinence because it seems like a strong word. So SRA again is a holistic approach to teaching all student populations the best optimal health choices.
0:21:53 – Speaker 3
I love that and I know you and I discuss this when we talked prior to doing the radio show. But you know, and I said this in the earlier segment like I’m all for giving the definitions to kids. They need to know that sex is sex like. Let’s tell them. But to me we cross a line when we start telling kids what’s right and what’s wrong. We take away that parental choice. And I love our curriculum because every day, like it’ll go through the STDs, it’ll go through contraceptives, it’ll go through ways to have safe sex, but everything comes back to the only scientific, 100% way to keep your kids safe is to not have sex. You know, and so I love that. That’s scientific based. How can we argue with that?
0:22:37 – Speaker 4
Right. I love that you pointed that out, because you can’t argue with science and you can’t argue with laws that Texas actually has in place to protect the message of SRA and abstinence. And I love that you went back to that because you’re very correct in that we can teach all the things to the students. You know the risks, the failure rates, the success sequence, the assets list, but when it all comes down to the end of the day, they are going to make their own choices. But we can say we’ve given you all the information to make the most informed, optimal health choice. Look at SRA.
0:23:11 – Speaker 2
As parents. We talked earlier about the importance of going and attending the parent meeting to find out what your kids are gonna be taught, but something that you mentioned to us before this show was the School Health Advisory Council. I’m really curious about that. Explain what that is and why parents might be interested in learning more about it.
0:23:29 – Speaker 4
So the School Health Advisory Council, which is known as the SHAC, is a committee that’s composed of parents, community members, teachers, and they are appointed by others within the district or they can be appointed by their board of trustees. The school board of trustees has to approve the SHAC committee members and they’re required to meet at least four times a year. This committee is is the group of people that research, review and propose sexual health education programs to the board of trustees, and then the board of trustees will either adopt it or ask them to go back and review it and bring another one. So the SHAT committee the parents on that committee are the people bringing the programs into the school district. So as a parent in Texas, it is highly advantageous to become a part of that so that you can see what programs are being reviewed for your school?
0:24:24 – Speaker 3
district. Christy, if somebody is listening and they’re like I want to get more involved, like I want to be part of that committee, I want to. How do I make change in my district? How do I get more involved? How do they contact you? Can we just give them your email address and they contact you with questions so you can walk them through how to do this in their district?
0:24:42 – Speaker 4
Absolutely, you can give them my email address. Yes, okay, and what is that? Will you share that with us? I will share it with you. Christybaca28 at yahoocom. Perfect.
0:24:56 – Speaker 2
And are there, and nationwide parents can ask you questions too, if they’re listening outside of Texas.
0:25:00 – Speaker 4
Absolutely they can, because I have resources to connect them with that can take them directly to their state and their district to see what programs they have and how their process of bringing such education works in their state, because it varies within each different state how those programs are brought in. Christy, I guess I can guide them to that.
0:25:18 – Speaker 2
Thank you so much for the information and for your expertise. It’s so important for parents to know what’s going on in their school and what their kids are being taught, and we appreciate you giving us some more insight into that.
0:25:29 – Speaker 4
I appreciate you, though. Thank you so much. Thank you, christy.
0:25:32 – Speaker 3
0:25:33 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630 the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page