Excerpt from the Dripping Springs ISD 2016-2017 Handbook:
“Human Sexuality Notice and Information
As a part of the district’s curriculum, students receive instruction related to human sexuality as required by State Law. The law requires that any instruction related to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome must:
- present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for
unmarried persons of school age;
- devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior;
emphasize that abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity;
- direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; and
- if included in the curriculum, teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates.
The School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is charged with the task of recommending to the Board of Trustees the appropriate grade levels, methods of human sexuality instruction, and the selection of course materials for such instruction. The SHAC is composed primarily of parents selected by the Board of Trustees and is chaired by one of the parent representatives on the
Council. Other members include community members, campus staff, and district staff. Information about the SHAC is available on the District website at Dripping Springs ISD – School Health Advisory Council (www.dsisd.txed.net/index.aspx?NID=372).
Senate Bill 283 requires districts to provide written notice of their intent to provide human sexuality instruction to students.
Senate Bill 283 specifies:
Before each school year, a school district shall provide written notice to a parent of each student enrolled in the district of the Board of Trustees’ decision regarding whether the district will provide human sexuality instruction to district students. If instruction will be provided, the notice must include:
- a summary of the basic content of the district’s human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student, including a statement informing the parent of the instructional
requirements under state law;
- a statement of the parent’s right to:
a. review curriculum materials as provided by Subsection (j); and
b. remove the student from any part of the district’s human sexuality instruction without subjecting the student to any disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction imposed by the district or the student’s school; and
- information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of the curriculum to be used in human sexuality instruction, including information regarding the local school health advisory council established under Subsection (a).
A parent may use the grievance procedure adopted under Section 26.011 concerning a complaint of a violation of Subsection (i).
The Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees approved the Always Changing: Puberty and Stuff program by Procter and Gamble for students in Grade 5. This video-based basic anatomy presentation has a version for each gender and boys and girls are separated for the lesson in order to introduce developmentally appropriate information to each gender. The Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees approved the Big Decisions® program to be used in the middle school and high school health classes. The Big Decisions® program is an abstinence-plus program designed for students in Grades 7-12 that provides medically accurate and up-to-date information on STDs, teen pregnancy, and the laws concerning teens and sex. Role playing is used to help students learn about peer pressure, goal setting and setting limits. The curriculum is modified by District staff for students in Grades 7 and 8 to ensure the students are receiving age appropriate information specific to the needs of our middle school students.
The modified curriculum will be posted on the middle school website for review prior to beginning of the human sexuality instruction unit in health classes each semester. More information about Big Decisions® is available at http://www.bigdecisions.org. In addition, the Austin LifeGuard Character and Sexuality Education assembly program may be used as an introduction to the sexual health unit. The abstinence-based program is designed to empower teens in the Austin area with accurate information and practical tools to help them make healthy decisions, build strong relationships, and fully experience the benefits of saving sex for marriage. More information about Austin LifeGuard is available at http://www.austinlifeguard.com.
Parents will be informed prior to the presentation of curriculum materials informing parents of program details, providing an opportunity for parents to review the curriculum materials in advance of their students, and providing parents the opportunity to remove their child from any part of the district’s human sexuality instruction without subjecting the student to any disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction. Parents may also choose to become more involved with the development of curriculum used for this purpose by attending the district’s SHAC meetings or applying to be included as a member of the SHAC. Information about District Community Advisory Committees including SHAC and an application for a committee appointment is available on the District website at Dripping Springs ISD – Community Advisory Committees (www.dsisd.txed.net/index.aspx?nid=318).”