Texas: Ector County Drops Contraception Curriculum
November 17, 2005
On Tuesday night, the Ector County Independent School District board voted 4-3 to end a one-day contraception lesson as part of the district's abstinence-only sex education curriculum. For two years, the contraception lesson was taught at the end of the sex education program with parental consent.
Before the vote, board member L.V. "Butch" Foreman asked to amend a motion to have the board follow the advice of the School Health Advisory Council, which favored the contraceptive lesson. Foreman said he was attempting to seek middle ground between board members who wanted no contraception information and those who wanted it to stay the same. The amendment, however, was not accepted.
Foreman said it is critical that the curriculum follow TEKS -- the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Under TEKS, schools are required to "analyze the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of barrier protection and other contraceptive methods including the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, keeping in mind the effectiveness of remaining abstinent until marriage."
Prior to the vote, Dr. Matthew Furst requested the board continue the contraceptive lesson. "We have a body of information that can help protect our children," said Furst. "As adults, if we withhold that information, and they go out and get an STD, we're responsible for that."
But the Rev. Terry Pierce of the First Church of the Nazarene encouraged the board to drop the instruction. "We cannot teach abstinence and contraception. They contradict each other," said Pierce, who received a standing ovation from a crowd of about 100 people at the meeting.