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Sex education in Texas just joined the 21st century

Finally, the State Board of Education has aligned sex education guidelines with the realities of the world.

Make no mistake. The best way for teenagers to avoid an unwanted pregnancy is to practice abstinence as the board’s sex education guidelines have long advised. But teenagers are teenagers. They don’t always make the decisions that would prevent the mistake of a lifetime.

While parents should be the primary instructors of sex education for their children, we’re pleased that the board revised its curriculum standards for sex education to include teaching contraception and preventing sexually transmitted infections. The change, the first in more than two decades, expands the current abstinence-only curriculum to what is commonly called abstinence-plus.

A teenage girl who has a baby is unlikely to finish high school. Even if the father is involved, the real-life obstacles of babies having babies can silence dreams. Without a high school degree in

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Netflix Doubles U.K. Production Budget to $1 Billion, After ‘The Crown,’ ‘Sex Education’ Global Success



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© Courtesy of Netflix


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Streaming giant Netflix has doubled its U.K. production budget to $1 billion, following the global success of shows including “The Crown” and “Sex Education.”

Netflix is spending this budget on producing more than 50 shows in the U.K., despite a fraught year that has seen production on “The Witcher” shut down twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The U.K. is an incredibly important market to Netflix and we’re proud to be increasing our investment in the U.K.’s creative industries,” said a Netflix spokesperson. “‘The Crown,’ ‘Sex Education’ and ‘The Witcher’ are among the shows that have been made in the U.K. this year and will be watched by the world. And these shows are a testament to the depth of talent that exists here.”

“We will continue to invest in the best content in every genre, and are fully

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Texas board OKs sex education policy update, but rejects push to acknowledge LGBTQ students

AUSTIN, Texas — New Texas sex education standards that include teaching about birth control, not just abstinence, starting in middle school, won final approval Friday from the State Board of Education.



a group of people sitting at a desk: Students at Gullet Elementary in North Austin in 2019 learn about the functions of a family as part of the Austin school district's human sexuality and responsibility curriculum.


© ANA RAMIREZ/Austin American-Statesman/TNS
Students at Gullet Elementary in North Austin in 2019 learn about the functions of a family as part of the Austin school district’s human sexuality and responsibility curriculum.

While overhauling the sex education curriculum, as part of revamping health standards for the first time in two decades, the board rejected a push to acknowledge LGBTQ students.

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Despite a strong push from Democratic board members, as well as 27 total hours of testimony from parents and students across three meetings this year, the Republican-controlled board rejected attempts to have curriculum standards define gender identity and sexual orientation.

The standards, which guide textbook content as well as instruction in the state, will go into effect

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Texas education board set to revise sex education curriculum

AUSTIN, Texas — In the first changes to the sex education curriculum in Texas in more than 20 years, the State Board of Education on Friday approved teaching middle schoolers about birth control but decided against providing students with information on consent, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The revisions consist of teaching seventh and eighth graders about the effectiveness of birth control in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Currently, only high schoolers get such lessons, though health courses aren’t required for graduation.

The new standards, which guide textbook content as well as instruction in public schools across the state, will go into effect in 2022. The board last updated the state’s sex education curriculum in 1997.

The board also approved teaching fifth graders about fertilization and sixth graders about sexual intercourse.

School districts in Texas aren’t required to offer sex education, but if they do, they’re required by state

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Texas approves sex ed program omitting LGBTQ and consent education

In the Texas State Board of Education’s first comprehensive amendment to their sexual education policy since 1997, the board made a decision that will effect how middle school students learn about sex, according to Aliyya Swaby at the Texas Tribune.



a group of people sitting at a table


© HARRY CABLUCK, STF / AP


The changes to the policy will not include education on sexual orientation, gender identity or the concept of sexual consent.

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The board heard from advocacy groups and educators on forthcoming changes to protocol. The 15-member, Republican-controlled body took a preliminary vote Wednesday to overhaul the minimum standards for what Texas students learn about health and sex, a process that has taken more than a year, the Tribune reported.

In September the board gave preliminary approval to include birth control in the program but leave education about sexual orientation out of it.

On Wednesday, the board held a lengthy debate surrounding whether or

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Texas Board Revises Sex Education Standards to Include More Birth Control

“Texas is a very diverse state, obviously, and the 200-plus rural school districts that I represent, I wanted to give them the freedom and the latitude to include some of those items in their curriculum, in their teaching, if they choose to do so,” he said at Friday’s meeting.

More than 20 hours of public comment, from across the political spectrum, were heard in June and September over revisions of the state’s health education standards. Ricardo Martinez, the chief executive of Equality Texas, an L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy group, testified multiple times ahead of Friday’s vote and said that excluding language about gender identity, sexual orientation and consent hindered students’ ability to navigate the world.

“You change hearts and minds by educating people about the lived experiences of those around them,” he said in an interview. “Robbing folks, especially at this age, from receiving their vital information of how you can make

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State Board of Education OKs new sex ed curriculum excluding LGBTQ youth, consent

The state Board of Education is inching closer to approving new sex education standards for the first time since the late ‘90s, giving initial approval on Wednesday to a curriculum that expands contraceptive education in middle school but declined to acknowledge LGBTQ individuals or define consensual sexual activity.

The 15-member, GOP-controlled board will vote on the curriculum for a final time on Friday.

The board’s November meeting is the culmination of a months-long process to update the state’s health curriculum, which included soliciting formal recommendations from groups of professionals and hearing more than 24 hours of public testimony on the subject. The updated standards — last revisited by the board in 1997 — will go into effect in 2022.

Wednesday’s discussion largely reiterated talking points that board members took up during their September meeting, when they first gave preliminary approval to the updated curriculum. The most heated debate concerned sexual

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New Texas sex ed policy still doesn’t cover LGBTQ students or consent

Starting in 2022, seventh and eighth grade students in Texas will learn about forms of birth control beyond abstinence, but middle schoolers still won’t have to learn about the importance of consent or the definitions of gender identity and sexual orientation.

Over the last several months, panels of educators and medical professionals formulated recommendations to overhaul the health and sex education policies. The Texas State Board of Education, which determines what 5.5 million Texas public school students learn, has heard from hundreds of educators, advocates and experts across the state throughout the process.

The 15-member Republican-dominated board took a preliminary vote Wednesday to overhaul the minimum standards for what Texas students learn about health and sex, a process that has taken more than a year. It will take a final vote Friday. This marks the board’s first thorough revision to its sex education policy since 1997, and will affect millions

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University of California agrees to $73 million sex abuse settlement

LOS ANGELES — The prestigious University of California system has reached a proposed $73 million settlement with seven women who accused a former gynecologist of sexual abuse.

As part of the class-action lawsuit, more than 6,600 patients of Dr. James Heaps could receive part of the settlement — even if they have not accused the former University of California, Los Angeles, gynecologist of abuse.

A federal judge must approve the deal between the seven plaintiffs, representing thousands of Heaps’ patients, and the University of California regents and the doctor. The proposed agreement, which includes several mandated reforms at UCLA, was filed Monday in federal court.

Patients have accused Heaps of sexual assault and sexual misconduct between 1983 and 2018, when he worked at the UCLA student health center and UCLA Medical Center. Accusations include making sexually inappropriate comments to patients, touching women sexually during exams without wearing gloves and simulating

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University of California agrees to $73 million settlement over sex abuse claims against James Heaps

The University of California system has reached a proposed $73 million settlement with seven women who accused a former gynecologist of sexual abuse. As part of the class-action lawsuit, more than 6,600 patients of Dr. James Heaps could receive part of the settlement — even if they have not accused the former University of California, Los Angeles, gynecologist of abuse.

A federal judge must approve the deal between the seven plaintiffs, representing thousands of Heaps’ patients, and the University of California regents and the doctor. The proposed agreement, which includes several mandated reforms at UCLA, was filed Monday in federal court.

Patients have accused Heaps of sexual assault and sexual misconduct between 1983 and 2018, when he worked at the UCLA student health center and UCLA Medical Center. Accusations include making sexually inappropriate comments to patients and touching women sexually during exams without wearing gloves. 

The settlement is separate

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