Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to the Austin Independent School District on Tuesday stating that its "Pride Week" curriculum is in violation of state law for having "human sexuality instruction" in school.
"The Texas Legislature has made it clear that when it comes to sex education, parents – not school districts – are in charge," Paxton wrote in a letter to Austin ISD Superintendent Stephanie S. Elizalde. He explained that the state's Education Code requires that "before a student may be provided with human sexuality instruction, a school district must obtain the written consent of the student's parent."
"By hosting 'Pride Week,' your district has, at best, undertaken a week-long instructional effort in human sexuality without parental consent. Or, worse, your district is cynically pushing a week-long indoctrination of your students that not only fails to obtain parental consent, but subtly cuts parents out of the loop. Either way, you are breaking state law," Paxton said.
Paxton encouraged parents to file grievances with the Texas Education Agency, which is permissible under the state's education code.
The Austin ISD made headlines this week after Libs of Tik Tok revealed that students at Doss Elementary School, which serves students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, were seen staging a Pride parade.
Children could be seen marching through the halls waving pride flags, holding signs, and shouting "pride." The video was posted to Twitter by the school's Assistant Principal Hannah Wankel, though she later deleted it.
Pride Week runs from March 21-26 at the school. As part of the lessons, teachers were initially instructed to tell students to keep conversations had in the classroom secret. Later, the guidance was changed to tell teachers that students could be told that they could what was said with adults they trusted.
Dr. Stephanie S. Elizalde, the Superintendent of Austin Independent School District, responded to Attorney General Ken Paxton's letter on Twitter and said, "I want all our LGBTQIA+ students to know that we are proud of them and that we will protect them against political attacks." Elizalde did not address the legal violation.
Doss Elementary's Media Relations Specialist Eddie Villa, who noted in his email signature that his pronouns are "he/him/his," replied to a request for comment from The Post Millennial, saying "Please see our superintendent's tweet on this," and referencing the above tweet.
This article has been updated with a comment from Doss Elementary.
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