Curriculum · General · School District · Tools

Example – Open Records Request

Dear Officer for Public Records,
This request is made under the Texas Public Information Act, Chapter 552, Texas Government Code, which guarantees the public’s access to information in the custody of governmental agencies.

I respectfully request the following information:

District Policy.  Please provide all district policies on human sexuality education, puberty education, human growth and development, family life education, and maturation, including the adoption date and whether it was adopted by the school board or district administration with or without an official board vote.

Schedules.  Please provide copies of course schedules, instructors, listings, or other documents that reflect what courses required or elective are offered in your district schools that contain information  involving any human sexuality instruction.

Instructors. Please provide a list of all employees and outside speakers of human sexuality including names, organizations or affiliations.  Please provide a list of all employees that have been trained to teach human sexuality instruction.

Parental Notification.   Please provide copies of notification to parents about human sexuality instruction including but not limited to parent permission, opt-in, or opt-out forms used for human sexuality instruction, puberty education, human growth and development, family life education, and maturation at all grade levels.

Demonstrations. Please provide any documentation regarding the demonstration or distribution of contraceptives in your district including condoms.

Organizations.  Please provide a list of any organizations or other entities or resources provided to students for referrals regarding human sexuality related issues, including by school counselors.

Pregnant Students.  Please provide a copy of your policy regarding notification of parent(s) when a student says she is pregnant or thinks she is pregnant.

Counseling/Guidance Programs.  Please provide summary level of the content of each counseling and guidance program used in the school district including but not limited to Welcoming Schools,  Social Emotional Learning, Leader in Me, Trevor Romain, anti-bullying programs, and character education.  Please include schools and grades implementing each program and scope and sequence.

The Freedom of Information Act provides that if portions of a document are exempt, the remainder must be segregated and released. Therefore, I would appreciate your sending me all nonexempt portions of those records I have requested.

If you decide to withhold or delete any information, please let me know of your decision by referencing specific exemptions under the Act.  Under provisions of the Public Information Act, I reserve the right to appeal should you determine to withhold any information sought in my request.

Thank you for your cooperation. I look forward to receiving your reply within 10 business days, as provided by law.

General · Parents

When in Doubt, Opt Out

According to the Texas Education Code 28.004, parents have the right to know what is being taught in Human Sexuality instruction and to remove their child without consequences.

If the school sends an Opt-Out form home, what do parents do with it?  What thought process goes into whether or not to include a child in the Human Sexuality instruction that has been chosen by the school district?

The current Evaluation criteria that parents use to decide whether or not to Opt-Out their student seems to include: trust in school district, peer pressure, and apathy.

Trust: Parents trust the School Districts to provide appropriate instruction.  A School District may host Parent Forums for the curriculum where parent attendance levels fluctuate sometimes based on the trust level in the district.  Occasionally, a Parent might go to the School Library to view the Curriculum in detail.  But in general, Parents seem to trust that the district is providing adequate and age-appropriate instruction.

Peer Pressure: Parents feel especially compelled to not opt-out their children because of Peer Pressure.  Our children do not want to be singled out and parents don’t want to be the responsible party in causing any undue stress on our children.  Somehow after all of these years of teaching our children to withstand peer pressure in other areas such as drugs and alcohol, we give in to the ultimate fear of being different when it comes to communal sex education.

Apathy: Apathy is the strongest power that School Districts have when it comes to our children.  Parents are too busy and too distracted to take the time to really think through whether the instruction is appropriate for our unique children and their individual maturity level.

The Opt-Out Process is full of inefficiencies without any guarantee or comfort for a discerning parent.  The student is supposed to bring home a form in a timely manner.  If a parent decides to Opt-Out their child, the form has to successfully arrive back at the school and the instructor must honor the parent’s request.  The default is that the student receives the instruction.

The Parent’s Opt-Out is too often overruled.  Teachers do not always perform the due diligence to check the forms.  Students are sometimes even given the option to stay in the room even though their parents signed the Opt-Out.  There are no consequences for the teachers or students if the parent said ‘no’ in cases when the school actually delivered the lesson.  The school could just say that they lost the form or that it wasn’t delivered.  There is no accountability in this process.

Students that currently Opt-Out are sometimes given more book work than the students that actually go through the class.  In some cases, instruction is reduced from 10 days to 4 days, but the book work is for the full 10 days.  Most of the work would be considered ‘busy work’ and sometimes includes quiz and test reviews with threats of a quiz or test at the end.  Students not only feel singled out, but they feel like the Opt-Out is a punishment.

The 83rd Texas Legislature considered an Opt-In process.  The default process would be that students would not receive any Human Sexuality instruction at school.  The assumption is that at-risk students would not return the forms and would not receive any instruction at home.  Sex Educators worry that at-risk students could miss out on a beneficial program due to the irresponsible behavior by the student or the non-participation by the parent.  Declarations that this would shut down Sex Education completely are an exaggeration.

The Opt-In process actually makes a parent stop, read, and think about whether they agree with what is being taught and maybe even do some research.  If a District wants to encourage Parental involvement, the Opt-In process is the strongest indicator of a desired partnership between the District and Parents.  The truth is that Parents sign forms for their children all the time, particularly at elementary and middle school levels.  When a student enrolls in Health class in High School, one parental consent form is reasonable and should be expected.

To make an informed decision, parents should be provided as much information as possible.  Parents should evaluate the Curriculum Material, the Instructor that will be delivering the Material, and the Peer Group that will be present during the Presentation.

Material: The School District is required to make the material available for public inspection.  Many School Districts keep the documentation in the School Library for Parents to review.  Some curricula are available online to review and even more have reviews available.  The Parents should discern the source of the reviews and financial backing of such Material.  Many curricula available are backed by Planned Parenthood.  Is it alarming to parents that an abortion provider would be supplying the Human Sexuality material to their children?  What message would this group provide a student?  Is it Sexual Risk Avoidance or Sexual Risk Reduction?  Sexual Risk Avoidance programs follow a consistent and effective public health policy to guide students to avoid risky situations and behaviors.  Sexual Risk Reduction programs, also known as Comprehensive Sex Education, assume that students are engaging in sexual activity and that condom use needs to be promoted and condom skills need to be mastered.  Parents should seek to understand as much as possible about the source of the Material.  Each District in the State of Texas should have a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) that makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees.  Parents can seek out other Parents that are on the Council to understand what Curriculum is taught and how the District determined its appropriateness.

Instructor: Parents need to know and understand who is teaching the material and what values will be represented.  Sex Education is Character Education.  If the curriculum is supposed to be Abstinence-Only, is the instructor able to deliver a compelling message for Abstinence?  A P.E. Coach provided Abstinence-Only instruction while wearing ‘Jersey Shore’ sweatpants.  Before she showed the slide of the male anatomy, she asked the room of 6th grade girls, “What is our favorite body part?!”  The girls yelled back, “Penis!”  We should never underestimate the effect of a contradictory message during such an important subject.  Unfortunately, teachers are protected by the administration through “teacher autonomy” and can claim an affirmative defense for presenting “harmful to minor’s material” through an educational exemption in the Texas Penal Code.  Parents should never assume that Instructors will follow the scripts in the material.

Peer Group: Many programs have interactive discussions.  Some programs are merely instruction using anonymous note cards for questions.  The Instructor’s guidance through this discussion is an important part of a Parents decision.  Does the Instructor read or allow every question or is discretion built into the program and presentation?  Parents should be aware of the Peer Group that is in the room for the instruction.

An Opt-Out process is made efficient when the Parent signs the form and the Instructor sends a notification to the Parent acknowledging receipt and intent to honor the request.  I wrote ‘Please confirm receipt’ at the bottom of my child’s Opt-Out form and received such acknowledgement.  This ‘closed loop’ Opt-Out provided me with peace of mind until I learned that my child was the only student that had been singled out in the entire grade.

My hope is that discerning parents do not give in to blind trust, peer pressure, and apathy.  We should all know without any doubt that the instruction that is being provided is exactly what our child needs at that time in his/her life.  So…When in Doubt, Opt Out.


General · Get Real · Manor ISD · Mindfulness

2017 Manor ISD

Human Sexuality Instruction

Manor ISD has been teaching Scott & White Worth the Wait.  The handbook states that Worth the Wait will be taught, and the permission slips provided in an open records request show Worth the Wait.  However, this document indicates that Cardea Services will implement the WISE initiative and LifeWorks will provide Get Real Human Sexuality Instruction in the Middle and High Schools.


Manor ISD is listed among many Texas school districts as PureEdge districts.  The Manor ISD SHAC discussed PureEdge at the March 9, 2017 SHAC Meeting.

“V. PURE Edge Professional Development
SFSS Director Becky Lott provided an overview of the Pure Edge professional development, which was provided on February 20 to the majority of PE teachers, social workers, counselors, registrars, food services staff and others and again to parents on February 21, 2017.

Pure Edge, Inc. believes that all students deserve to be taught strategies to help combat stress and develop social, emotional, and academic learning competencies with an open heart and an open mind.

This purpose of this experiential training is intended to help educators practice research-based strategies to reduce stress, calm the mind and achieve focus.
The following was covered and well received by the participants.
•Opening: Journaling check-in, chair movement and breath
•Slide Set: Pure Edge’s Mindful Movement, Breath, and Rest
•Interactive Exercises and Guided Practice

The district will be expanding this professional development in the summer and fall of 2017 to additional educators.”

School Based Health Center

Manor ISD has a school based health center.

General · San Marcos Consolidated ISD

San Marcos CISD Board of Trustees Meeting Tonight

Tonight Mano Amiga will present a case to the San Marcos CISD Board of Trustees Meeting to remove Naomi Narvaiz from the School Health Advisory Council.

Here is a basic timeline of events leading up to tonight:

Here is Mano Amiga’s latest post


It’s been a bewildering week.

Last Sunday, Ms. Naomi Narvaiz proclaimed in San Marcos Daily Record that she couldn’t figure out if Mano Amiga’s horrific gallery of posts gathered from her social media “may have been altered to fit their agenda.”

The very next day, Ms. Narvaiz re-tweeted a post, for all to see, from Patriot Front, the organization whose shirt & shield were donned by the racist killer in Charlottesville who mowed over protestors. To quote a later Daily Record article, “The group’s website name,, refers to a chant used by Nazis in Germany.”

Who accidentally tweets neo-Nazi content, much less while perched on a City’s Ethics Commission?
And when already the focus of widely publicized concerns about extremism in your social media posts, what does it say about, um, judgment?

Even San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides, who praised Narvaiz on the San Marcos Local News FB Group as “great on that [SHAC] or any committee” in August — insultingly, the very same morning as his vote for amicus in SB4 litigation — has walked away from that support.

Thomaides now tells Daily Record he has not endorsed any candidate for SHAC, a step in the right direction — but that seemingly stops right there.
This morning, Monday, marks one week since a San Marcos ethics commissioner, on Mayor Thomaides’ watch, posted neo-Nazi content on her social media.

In a confession on KVUE’s feature story Friday, Narvaiz acknowledges she did post neo-nazi content: “I thought it was kind of silly, and I retweeted it. Simple as that.”

In the intervening week, Mayor Thomaides has been silent.
His mug did grace the Daily Record’s front page Wednesday: he’s joined a Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate that pledges to “expressly reject extremism, white supremacy & all forms of bigotry.”

While Thomaides found time to get quoted on his Compact commitment, KVUE reports that Mayor Thomaides ducked “multiple attempts” over a two-day investigation to comment on the extremist, white supremacist & bigoted content now reported by numerous media outlets, including in Houston & San Antonio, with interest only growing.

San Marcos Cinema Club announced they will, at 11 AM today, deliver an L.A. Dodgers poster to Mayor Thomaides: acknowledging the Mayor has steadily dodged reporter’s inquiries into the inflammatory posts by his city’s Ethics Commissioner, as lamented by KVUE. (Cinema Club has a superb racial-justice baseball documentary coming in Lost River Film Fest…)


On behalf of Mano Amiga, we are prepared to embrace an idea proposed by Ms. Narvaiz herself during her KVUE confession:
“If we’re going to scrutinize one person out of 23 (Student Health Advisory Council members), let’s sit down, and look at everybody else’s records the same way and see.”

Indeed, to “RESET & RE-VET”is the most prudent choice forward for all concerned.

Despite his initial vote in favor of Narvaiz for SHAC, we seek to dispel rumors about School Board vice president John McGlothlin that he is a Narvaiz diehard, prepared to defend her no matter what horrendous things she posts.

On the contrary, we applaud Mr. McGlothlin for rightly clarifying on Twitter that “many folks are genuinely offended at Tweets & posts that are abhorrent” — we respectfully encourage Mr. McGlothlin to go one step further, in acknowledging the wholesale failure of the vetting process for SHAC, in which someone posting neo-Nazi content, among other types of hateful speech, managed to slip through.

Accordingly, we ask Mr. McGlothlin to embrace the call to “RESET & RE-VET.”

Four days before her September SHAC appointment, Ms. Narvaiz’s twitter had a post declaring “Deport All Illegals, including DREAMers”: severely threatening & traumatic advocacy against the very children whose mental & physical health she’s tasked with advising upon.

A ridiculous claim is this campaign is a “political witch hunt.” When we “RESET & RE-VET,” political stripe is not our guiding concern — rather, it would be vetting for things like excluding bullies who broadcast threats & hateful messages from serving on a committee tasked with preventing bullying & suicide prevention…

In fact, we’ve seen through La Otra Voz-San Marcos, Texas — the underground rag from the early 70s that chronicled Latinx struggles in San Marcos — that so-called liberal politicians aren’t always reliable advocates for racial justice. In that publication’s pages, campaign ads for George Bush accompany articles on community organizing & education.

And in the wake of our spectacularly failed election in Hays County in 2016 — whereby 1,816 votes went uncounted at the Government Center, allegedly due to “preventable human error” — Mano Amiga has observed that local right-wingers, (puzzlingly, much more than Democrats, who were the ones disproportionately affected by the uncounted votes!) including Ms. Narvaiz, have been at the forefront in calling for justice & election integrity. We’ve also been bowled over by the amount of correspondence from local Republicans the past few weeks: fair-minded individuals who are similarly troubled by the harm Narvaiz represents for our City & its children (& presumably their grand old party) through her extremist advocacy.

Rather than any political litmus test, when we “RESET & RE-VET” the SHAC, perhaps the guidelines of the Mayor’s Compact to Combat Hate would be an apt guideline on whom to exclude — as soon as that Mayor’s Compact actually starts taking effect…
(These are the views of Mano Amiga, & are in no way meant to try to represent the diverse views of this coalition calling for Narvaiz’s ouster from SHAC…)”


General · San Marcos Consolidated ISD

San Marcos CISD SHAC By Laws

After a few exchanges, San Marcos provided this version of SHAC By Laws.

Re: 9/21/2017 – San Marcos Open Records Request
Fernandez, Andrew <>
Tue 10/10/2017 1:32 PM
To:Deborah Simmons <>;
1 attachments (25 KB)
SMCISD Bylaws 10 2016.docx;
Attached are the bylaws.
Executive Director of Communications, San Marcos CISD
p: 512-393-6768
f: 512-393-6787
On Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 4:27 PM, Deborah Simmons <> wrote:
Thank you so much for the responses. I do not see the SHAC By Laws on the website nor attached to any of the email exchanges.
Does the SHAC have By Laws?
Thank you,
Deborah Simmons

General · San Marcos Consolidated ISD

San Marcos Campaign against Naomi Narvaiz appointment to SHAC

UPDATE: The Facebook event was deleted.  Here is the new link –

Naomi Narvaiz is being targeted for removal from the School Health Advisory Council in the San Marcos Consolidated ISD.  This type of campaign is highly unusual for a Citizen Committee that was presented, discussed, and approved by the Trustees of a School District.  What is going on in San Marcos that has invoked such hatred for a conservative community member?

The group Mano Amiga has posted attacks and launched a protest for the next School Board Meeting planned for October 16 in an attempt to have Narvaiz removed.

Last month, the Board of Trustees approved a group of applicants for their School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) — unfortunately, among them was Naomi Narvaiz, an extremist activist in Hays County, whose disturbingly fringe views, until now, were not fully known to the School Board.

Her personal Twitter account routinely broadcasts bigoted ideas — decrying the “Islamic infiltration” of the U.S., labeling transgender folks as suffering a “mental disorder,” claiming gay marriage harms kids & stems from “child rape,” advocating to “Deport all Dreamers,” depicting yoga as “witchcraft,” etc. — & we have faith that, upon a thorough review of her toxic worldview, our School Board will make the prudent choice of protecting SMCISD youth from her hateful ideas.

We invite you to convey your concern — that a person with such dangerously backward views would hold a position of power, with real consequences for our city’s children, many of whom are Muslim, from immigrant families, not heterosexual, believe in evolution or practice yoga — directly to the School Board, asking they swiftly remove her from SHAC:,,,,,,

At the School Board meeting, Mano Amiga will provide food for those who show up at 5:30PM.
Between now & then, we will steadily post images from the horrifying trove of Ms. Narvaiz’s public commentary via social media to underscore that she is empirically unfit for SHAC.

We invite supporters of this growing coalition of common cause — of immigrants & their loved ones, of Muslims, of yoga practicioners, of the LGBTQIA+ community — to make a poster for the School Board meeting that simply quotes one of Ms. Narvaiz’s outlandish public comments. There are so many; you are free, of course, to take your choice.”