CBS Miami | By CBS Miami Team | July 26, 2022
MIAMI – The Miami-Dade School Board will hold a special meeting this Thursday to discuss what to do about sex education.
Last week, in a 5-4 vote, the board opted not to adopt two textbooks on human reproduction and disease education.
The school board staff and an independent hearing officer recommended the books. The School Board itself initially approved the textbooks in April.
The July decision leaves students in the district without materials to learn from for this curriculum.
United Teachers of Dade President Karla Mats posted on Twitter that she supports saving the curriculum and urged parents and teachers to sign a petition to keep it.
The controversy in the textbooks concerns emergency birth control and emergency contraception that would have been taught to sixth-through-eighth grade students.
School board member Luisa Santos said it was a handful of parents who convinced the board to get rid of the books that had already been approved and they got it wrong.
“Parents should be our partners in education. Of the 279 petitions that were filed against this textbook, only 44 were from parents of students in our schools. At a hearing where they could come and voice their concerns, only four came and only three spoke,” she said.
Santos added that the parents who convinced the board to get rid of the books had the option to opt-out.
“They had and will continue to have the option to opt-out of this portion of study. So, if you don’t want your children to touch that, it’s perfectly fine. You always have the right to opt-out. But if you do want to learn, then your child should have the right to learn about this, not because some minority said they shouldn’t,” she said.
She added that the board’s decision affects all of the students.
Board member Mari Tere Rojas supported not using the books because she said some chapters don’t align with state standards and were not age-appropriate.
“Well, the way that the contraception is taught, you know, in these books here, I’m not in agreement with,” she said.
Santos said if nothing is done, starting next school year there will be no sex education taught in the school
because there is no approved material.