On Monday, June 29th, the Texas State Board of Education held a virtual hearing where dozens of community leaders and parents urged the board to drastically update the standards of sexual health education in public schools. These policies have not been revised since 1977.
Texas Health Action’s (THA) CEO, Christopher Hamilton, testified before the board for a more inclusive curriculum. Read his statement below:
“Good morning. I’m Christopher Hamilton, CEO of Texas Health Action. We operate Kind Clinic, the fastest growing provider of sexual health services in Central Texas. We have patients in every one of your districts.
I am here to ask for your help in creating comprehensive sex education inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and consent. As a 5th grader in Houston, I was taught gay men got AIDS when they had sex, and that8 was it. We knew that wasn’t right, even then. Now there is PrEP, a once daily pill, that is up to 99% effective at preventing HIV acquisition through sex.
Our doctors and providers spend a lot of time educating patients on HIV prevention and STIs, education that patients have not consistently or accurately received as students.
One of our outreach coordinators was asked by a sexually active young man, “When I take my sister’s birth control, I won’t get my girlfriend pregnant, right?” The lack of information in our public schools causes direct harm in your districts.
At Kind Clinic, we provide patients who have suffered sexual assault with post-exposure prophylaxis, an emergency intervention to prevent HIV acquisition. This is unfortunately on the rise. Actively addressing consent in the curriculum will help reduce sexual violence.
Lack of information has contributed to the history of violence against LGBTQ people in our country. There is an avoidable epidemic of brutality against trans and intersex people in our state, especially against trans women of color. That violence contributes to staggering suicide rates and mental health challenges. A curriculum that includes gender identity can help end this epidemic.
I know that you face many difficult decisions in your role as a public servant. Comprehensive and inclusive sex education should be an easy one.”
– Christopher Hamilton, CEO of Texas Health Action