RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO)- The Texas State Board of Education is making changes to the state sex education policy for the first time in 23 years.
“It was a 9 to 6 decision that decided to leave out conversations about sexual orientation and identity,” said Cathy Torres, Youth Medical Case Manager at the Valley Aids Council.
Teachers will now focus on forms of birth control beyond abstinence and include other contraceptive methods in the prevention of STDs and STIs. Now, LGBTQ advocates say this will exclude a large population of students.
“That leaves out you know a lot of people with different identities and people with different orientations and it really limits the type of sex education that is provided at all,” said Torres.
The board of education voted against teaching about consent, sexual orientation and gender identity. Torres adds it is crucial for students at an early age to have these kinds of conversations.
“It could create an environment where it’s normal and it creates an environment where we stop stigma on talking about things like STDs, birth control, and sex in general,” she said.
Torres is hopeful that in the near future, more changes are made to include the LGBTQ youth and their needs.
“Comprehensive sex education that encompasses different types of sex for all different identities and sexual orientation, and also including healthy relationships and consent,” said Torres.
While Torres is happy strides are being made in the curriculum she says more needs to be done. She is urging anyone in need of information or resources on sex education to contact the Valley Aids Council, or visit their website.