A Florida district rejected the adoption of a sexual education textbook, with critics citing the new "don't say gay" law.
A Florida school board has removed a controversial sexual education textbook from the 2022-2023 curriculum following parental objections to the content. Parents objected to unscientific lessons which claimed that vaccines were the only proven method of preventing certain sexually transmitted infections, sections promoting gender theory, and content deemed to mature for younger middle school students. Now the books have been removed following a heated debate between those who oppose the content and those who claim that extensive sex ed training is necessary for informational purposes.
The Miami-Dade School Board faced 278 petitions regarding the content approved for the 2022-2023 sexual education textbooks. These concerned parents cited the new Florida parental rights bill in their quest to ensure that children are taught about biology and reproduction using age-appropriate materials. A June 8th hearing was conducted and many of the parents allowed to speak favored keeping the textbooks. Based on this the Superintendent-appointed hearing officer suggested that board members deny the hundreds of petitions to appease the 38 people who expressed support.
Those in favor of keeping the controversial sexual education textbooks claimed that proper sexual education “saves lives,” and that it lowers pregnancy rates. While no sources were cited to back up those claims, more than half of high school students have had sex by age 18 and STI infection rates continue to rise. Modern sexual education classes are less focused on biological function and more geared toward contraceptives and sexuality.
Many parents fear that by normalizing sex, sexual expression, and pregnancy prevention methods other than abstinence children have been led to view sex as a casual experience. The popularity of hook-up culture is now so commonplace that scientists have studied the effects of this modern phenomenon and found that engaging in this behavior leads to higher rates of depression and STI infections in freshman college women. In addition, abortion activists publicly decried the overturning of Roe Vs Wade because of the damage it will do to hook-up culture being that women may not be as easily able to abort a pregnancy resulting from a one-night stand.
Abortion in itself is sometimes taught as a healthy birth control method in some sexual education textbooks, which completely ignore the fact that at least one-third of teens and women who have had an abortion experience psychological issues afterward. As if that weren’t concerning enough, gender theory has also increasingly entered schools although it is not scientifically proven and often leads to heightened levels of gender confusion. Gender confusion leads to a host of psychological issues as well. While some parents and educators believe that teaching about these issues gives students the power to combat them, the fact of the matter is that gender confusion leads to an increased risk of psychological issues, and normalizing adult sexual information in sexual education makes students more vulnerable to sexual predators.
As the debate over what should be taught in sexual education classes continues across the nation, parents in the Miami-Dade school district have had their say. While some support keeping textbooks that have extensive information on gender theory and promote vaccines above all other STI prevention methods, others have decried the material. It has been removed and the school is currently unsure of what curriculum materials will be utilized in the fall. For now, many parents are taking it upon themselves to properly teach their children about biology, reproduction, and sex as they did many generations before public schools took on that role.