July 22 (UPI) — The Miami-Dade School Board has voted to reverse its decision to adopt a new sex-ed book for the upcoming school year, citing Florida’s new ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, among other things. concerns.
The board voted 5-4 on Wednesday in a decision that will leave the school district without a sex-ed program for several months during the 2022-23 school year, the Miami Herald reported.
The vote came after a public comment session in which some parents decried the proposed textbooks as unsuitable for schoolchildren, while others supported the teaching materials.
The board originally voted to accept the textbooks – separate middle and high school versions of a book titled Global Health Competencies – but outcry from some parents and community members forced the panel to revisit the issue.
Those who opposed the book took issue with discussions of LGBTQ issues, abortion and contraception, WPLG-TV in Miami reported.
“It’s something that I personally don’t believe is something age-appropriate for these students,” said Mari Tere Rojas, a school board member who voted against the books.
Board member Lucia Baez-Geller said she was against banning the books.
The books “follow the standards of our reproductive health here in Florida and I think every student should have the chance to learn the science facts that affect them later in life,” she said.
Board member Steve Gallon said his vote for the books was ultimately about parents’ rights.
“You have parents who want this level of access and information for their children and those parents have the right,” he said.
United Teachers of Dade president Karla Hernandez-Mats said teachers’ union members were “disturbed” by the decision to censor what students have access to.
“We don’t believe the voice of extremist individuals with political agendas should dictate what the more than 340,000 students learn in schools,” she said.
“Our teachers are partners with parents and believe they should continue to be able to remove their children from content they are not comfortable with. We respect the voice of parents and the choices they make for their children and not for other people’s children,” Hernandez-said Mats.