- Texas state law does not mandate the teaching of sexuality education.
- All sex ed curricula must emphasize abstinence.
- If a school chooses to teach sex ed and uses a curriculum developed by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), it must state that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle to the general public and that it is a criminal offense under the Texas Penal Code. This despite a 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which declared that state laws criminalizing homosexual behavior to be unconstitutional.
- Sex ed curricula are not required to include instruction on consent.
- School districts may not distribute condoms and are allowed to “separate students according to sex for instructional purposes.”
- The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education includes standards for what health curricula should look like. These standards include teaching students to “analyze the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of barrier protection and other contraceptive methods,” to understand “the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity,” etc.
- Since enacting HB 1525 in June 2021, parents or guardians must opt their children in to any sex ed instruction. This is referred to as an “opt-in” policy.
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
For more detailed information on how various districts in the state have been implementing these standards — and for recent legislation — you can read SIECUS’s Texas profile.