On January 22, 2018, a few Concerned Parents attended the AISD Board meeting to make public comments about pornographic books available in the library as well as about a handout provided by Planned Parenthood to middle school students that included a link to adult-natured videos about how to consent to sex. Amazingly, a Board member accused us of lying about the Planned Parenthood handout. Here is a recap by Caryl:
"I attended my first AISD Board meeting on Monday, January 22, along with a few friends. I waited nervously until it was time for public comments. My whole purpose for being there was to share that Planned Parenthood had passed out material to minor children concerning consenting for sex. These were not just suggestions to access videos of couples consenting for sex and how to do it, but the handout also included encouragement to make an appointment at a Planned Parenthood clinic and that insurance is accepted. Kids can’t even take Tylenol without parental consent at school! Here’s what I read to the board:
Hello, my name is Caryl Ayala and I taught for AISD for 11 years, from 2007 to 2016. This is a copy of a PP Fact Sheet that was passed out this past spring 2017 at Covington Middle School in S Austin, without parental consent. Please note the highlighted phrase. Once you go to the PP Consent Video Series you will see Youtube videos of the following: lesbian, gay and heterosexual adults
getting ready for sexual intercourse, kissing and undressing each other. The narrator makes the following comments: “Sex is about connection and pleasure.” “Asking for consent can be kinda sexy.” “We all deserve a safe, pleasurable and awesome sex life.”
My comments for you as educational gatekeepers are these.
This behavior on the part of Yasmin Wagner was outrageous, because she immediately defended Planned Parenthood without even getting the facts. None of the other board members commented, although one board member was very concerned about the pornographic book available and asked that the SHAC look into the issue.
So, in response, I wrote the Board a letter (click here) with screenshots of the adult content on the Planned Parenthood website directed at kids, as well as asking for an apology for the accusation of lying. After a follow-up email, I received a response from Terrence Eaton, Associate Supt. For Middle Schools, stating that the materials were indeed passed out and stating that the situation was rectified (click here for his response). If it wasn't inappropriate, there would have been nothing to rectify, but it was clear that AISD leadership agrees that Planned Parenthood materials should not have been distributed to children.
I have heard nothing back from Yasmin Wagner. I can't help but wonder why an AISD board member would immediately dismiss the concerns of a concerned citizen in order to praise Planned Parenthood, without even looking into the issue. It makes you wonder how connected Planned Parenthood and the AISD Board are.
This month someone from the AISD finance department gave a presentation on how the district stands financially and how it is basically experiencing a $30 million deficit. My teacher radar was all over it - tables, bar graphs, pie graphs, etc. - a visual learners dream! This is how the district decides what programs it keeps, by how much bang they get for their buck.
So my question is ... why did the SHAC decide to start providing sex ed in kindergarten? Did they first a do an analysis to determine that the program was needed? Where is the data? If there is, please share that data with parents.
A number of parents made comments at this meeting, and covered the following topics:
Afterwards, I had a conversation with a school board member. It was very encouraging. She expressed to me that since parents were coming and making comments, the meetings were now more balanced in terms of viewoints. She encouraged me send her any material and findings that I felt would speak to our concerns.
So, I would like to personally thank all the parents and concerned citizens who have come to share at the SHAC meetings.
YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.