UISD presents new human sexuality programs

UISD held its second Student Health Advisory Council meeting recently to discuss the Health Book Adoptions for elementary, middle and high school levels. Parents were invited to the presentations of the vendors and teachers to learn more on the courses and content, later receiving a voting ballot to express their approval of the proposed courses. 

SHAC meetings also discuss nutrition and fitness regarding UISD curriculum. This meeting focused on the changes and additions to UISD curriculum on Human Sexuality. Book vendors attended the meeting to further present their textbooks and online courses to be adopted in UISD. 

Changes and adaptations are in accordance with the recently passed Senate Bill 9 and House Bill 1525. Curriculums also include separated opt-in content requiring permission from parents for their children to learn in school.

For elementary school, the proposed program is from Quaver Health PE, which students already use for their music programs and can also use their same login for these courses. Senate Bill 9 and House Bill 1525 topics addressed are human sexuality, prevention of child abuse, family violence, dating violence and trafficking. Topics vary from grades first through fifth. 

The topic of prevention of child abuse or family violence is covered from first to fifth grade, all in different ways. For first graders, the lesson covered is safe and unsafe touch, for second graders the lesson is saying no in risky situations and the same for third graders in a deeper level. From third to fifth grade abuse and neglect is taught, and fourth graders are taught setting personal boundaries, understanding dangers of guns and other weapons. 

Fourth and fifth graders will learn human sexuality with the lessons puberty and body systems, and fifth graders will learn my reproductive system, relationship boundaries, identity protection, deeper setting personal boundaries, dangers of guns and other weapons, and human trafficking and gangs. The lessons can be shared by teachers to parents through links in which they are also available in Spanish.

For middle school, the Healthy Lifestyle Choices program covers health skills based on National Health Education Standards while allowing instructors the flexibility to choose the topics based on the needs of their students. 

The program is divided into 11 units including the topics of health and wellness; emotions and behaviors; communication, decision making and problem solving; alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; stress management; social and antisocial behaviors; injury and violence prevention; physical activity and nutrition; environment; and growth and development. 

This program states to promote positive behavior choices to help students advocate for their own health, as middle school students would rather not be told what to do or how to think. Core concepts in the 11 units include self-esteem, dealing with emotions, saying “no,” underage drinking, depression, teen suicide, hurtful relationships, bullying, reproductive health, STDs/STIs, and gender roles and stereotypes among many other crucial topics for the youth. 

For high school, Goodheart-Willcox presented its textbook Health Skills for High School, Health I and II. The Texas State Board of Education has named Goodheart-Willcox as the only approved publisher for Proclamation 2022. Resources are also available in Spanish. 

The district will offer separated content, called companion material, which covers the courses in a more in-depth manner. The companion material for high school includes the male reproductive system; the female reproductive system; conception, pregnancy and birth; adolescence and puberty; teen pregnancy and parenthood; understanding romantic relationships; practicing sexual abstinence; sexual harassment and assault; abuse and neglect; violence in the community; common STIs; Preventing and Treating STIs; and HIV/AIDS. 

When a parent or guardian provides permission for teachers to instruct these topics to students, a separate username and password or separate print material will be provided to said students. All students will have their unique username and password or textbook, depending on what the district chooses, for them to learn the core content of the course. 

The next SHAC meeting is set for April 22.


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