TERLC makes plea for urgent response against ‘unsuitable’ textbooks

Photo by Note Thanun on Unsplash

The Texas Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee on Thursday issued an open letter strongly urging the rejection of a handful of proposed school textbooks that include “unsuitable” content for children and teenagers.

The letter, signed by TERLC Chairman Nathan Loudin – pastor of Milwood Baptist Church in Austin – was released in advance of Texas State Board of Education meetings that begin next Tuesday (Nov. 16). The books in question are on the SBOE’s agenda for consideration of approval. Since the SBOE cannot order publishers to delete or change content, TERLC is urging a complete and total rejection of the textbooks in question.

One textbook, written for seventh and eighth graders, urges pregnant students to talk to a “trusted medical professional … if you think abortion is right for you.” The same textbook also offers contact information for Planned Parenthood, provides a web link to an organization that helps minors get judicial bypass for abortion without parental consent, and in a section on “Uses for the Reproductive System,” describes a graphic sexual encounter between two students.

Another textbook urges teachers to give students bonus points if they “recognize that fetuses grow in the uterus and are only called babies once they are born.”

“The question of individual freedom in our country is one matter. How the state educates our children with our own tax dollars is an entirely different matter,” Loudin told the Texan Thursday afternoon. “The material in question subverts parental oversight in matters regarding sexuality and identity, replacing a Christian worldview with a godless one. It is not neutral sexual or biological education in any sense.

“Likely, the vast majority of Texas parents have no idea that such material is on the verge of being approved for these ages, or any age for that matter, on a statewide reach. I’m convinced there are many concerned who would act, if so.”

Loudin said Texas parents and grandparents have reviewed the proposed materials and contributed to an analysis of each textbook. Those analyses yielded what they believe are 15 harmful elements of comprehensive sex educations rubrics for each publication. A copy of TERLC’s objections, including examples of objectionable content, can be found here (be advised that the examples contain descriptions of a strong, sexually explicit nature).

TERLC’s letter asks that anyone concerned with the content of the textbooks to contact SBOE members Will Hickman; Audrey Young; Keven Ellis; Tom Maynard; Patricia Hardy; Pam Little; Sue Melton-Malone; and Jay Johnson. Ellis serves as chair of the board and Little is vice chair. TERLC is also asking anyone willing to testify in person at the SBOE meeting in Austin. Registration is already underway and will continue through Friday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m.

Jayson Larson pic
Digital Editor
Jayson Larson
Southern Baptist Texan

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