Sex education course has mother calling for more transparency

SMITHVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — When you ask 10 people about the “right way” to teach sex education, you’ll get 10 answers. But a mother in the Bastrop County community of Smithville wants more transparency in how her school district teaches sex education.

This week, Smithville ISD brought in the abstinence-focused group Aim for Success to put on a presentation for the middle school and high school. The district sent out a letter allowing parents to opt their children out of the program.

“I really thought it was a sick joke,” said Paula Guerrero, a mother of four in the district, about the program.

She also said the district didn’t send out the letter soon enough.

“It was a letter addressing the sex education program here and the first line was: ‘The sexual revolution of the 60s dramatically redefined sexual boundaries in America. As a result, your child is growing up in a time where anything goes.’ So when I first read that, I kind of freaked out.”

Guerrero didn’t see the letter until Tuesday morning.

“The letter was mailed Friday night, and we had approximately one school day to respond,” said Guerrero. “Didn’t seem very fair as a parent … my rights to be able to do something about it.”

By that time, her son had already sat through the presentation. Guerrero had to physically go to her daughter’s school with the opt-out letter to get her daughter out of the presentation.

“I’m really angry,” said Guerrero. “I feel like the state overstepped their boundaries, and didn’t give me as a parent, the right to decide what he or she should be exposed to.”

No Smithville ISD officials were available to answer specific questions about the presentation. However, they say they have used this organization before. Texas schools are required to educate students about abstinence, but Guerrero believes this isn’t the way to teach it.

“I think this is like going back to the 1920s,” she said. “It is too extreme, and the wording here is too harsh.”

She hopes the school will get these notices out sooner so that this doesn’t happen to any other families.

Aim for Success is a Dallas-based organization. They have recently spoke at Llano Junior High School and are scheduled for a presentation at an Austin school later this year.

Below is the letter sent to parents:

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