TOMBALL — In the rural Houston suburb, the Tomball ISD school board voted last week on whether to adopt the new Goodheart-Willcox health textbooks for the upcoming school year.
Although the Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) recommended the Goodheart-Willcox health textbooks, upon hearing testimony from parents, Tomball ISD’s board of trustees declined to approve the textbooks for use this next school year.
Local mother Jennifer Kratky of Tomball Family Values served on the SHAC and addressed the board last week on the curriculum’s specifics.
Kratky highlighted several issues with the curriculum, including the presence of gender ideology in the section on identity, the use of the term “pregnant person” instead of the biologically correct term of “pregnant woman,” social justice activism, and prompts for small groups of students to discuss matters of a highly sexual nature amongst themselves.
“Any person of faith should understand that the entire approach of this identity formation lesson is actually a violation of Texas Family Code Sec. 151.001 (a), which states that parents have the right to direct the moral training of their children,” said Kratky.
“Parents expect health class to include the important basics: nutrition, exercise, physical safety, and perhaps mental health. NOT social sciences of identity formation or social justice activism.”
Kratky took it upon herself as a member of the SHAC to investigate other possible educational materials that would better meet students’ needs and parents’ standards. However, the SHAC never took the time to investigate other curriculum options and instead chose to push for a book rejected by multiple members of the State Board of Education.
In fact, during the SHAC’s presentation to the school board, they repeatedly mentioned that the health teachers of TISD approve of the material—leaving out any mention of TISD parents’ disapproval.
Notably, the Tomball board of trustees has chosen to listen to parental concerns and rejected the offered Goodheart-Willcox curriculum.
“I’m disappointed that this is on the commissioner’s list, frankly,” said trustee Michael Pratt.
School boards across the state will be voting on whether or not to adopt the Goodheart-Willcox textbooks in the next month, due to the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) established by the Texas Board of Education last year. However, the TEKS do not mandate the use of Goodheart-Willcox, as the health curriculum remains a matter of local choice.
Concerned parents can check with their local school board for information about upcoming votes on the Goodheart-Willcox curriculum.