In 2009, a Texas school superintendent declared that sex-education classes were unnecessary in his rural district. Most of the area's school kids live on farms, he explained, therefore: "They get a pretty good sex education from their animals."
In 2009, a Texas school superintendent declared that sex-education classes were unnecessary in his rural district. Most of the area’s school kids live on farms, he explained, therefore: “They get a pretty good sex education from their animals.”
It’s this kind of thinking that makes Texas so special.
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That specialness has now flowered in our state senate. Ken Paxton, a full-fledged right-wing Republican from a Dallas suburb, is proposing to ban Planned Parenthood from providing sex-education materials to any Texas school. Paxton says the women’s health organization favors sexual freedom for females, and – well, we can’t have that in our classrooms, can we?
Of course, Paxton is really just pandering to anti-abortion and anti-women’s-rights extremists. Planned Parenthood has become the favorite whipping girl of that far-right faction, so piling on it is considered great sport by cheap-shot, political opportunists like Paxton.
Interestingly, neither he nor his Planned Parenthood-bashing supporters have found any examples of the demonized organization’s materials being used in Texas classrooms. And they won’t find any, because the group does not even offer a sex-education curriculum to schools! But Paxton’s bill is almost-comically panicky, prohibiting anyone who is merely a member of the group from providing information or instruction to sex ed classes. Ramping up this goofiness, one far-out alarmist even testified that Planned Parenthood’s secret agenda is to teach children how to use sex toys.
Lest you think that Texans generally are as off the wall as the Paxtonites, a recent poll shows that 73 percent of voters – including 69 percent of Republican women – approve state funding for the kind of family-planning services that Planned Parenthood provides for low-income women.
“Just Watch the Livestock,” The Austin Chronicle, March 2, 2009.
“Bill seeks to bar Planned Parenthood from sex ed,” Austin American Statesman, March 6, 2013.
“Texans Stand Up for Access to Birth Control: Results from a Statewide Survey of Texas Voters,” www.tfn.org, February 19, 2013.