Texas education officials are seeking advice from someone who calls pregnant women “host organisms.” It’s a new low for Texas’ state Board of Education, which is currently in the process of updating how schools teach students about health and sex education.
This week, the state Board of Education tapped seven individuals as experts to advise teachers re-writing the 20-year-old health curriculum.
But an immediate glance at some of the experts on the advisory panel reveal that they are, in fact, not experts at all.
“With all of our state’s world-class medical and public health institutions, it’s inconceivable that board members couldn’t find better qualified, less politically divisive individuals for this so-called ‘expert’ panel,” Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said in a prepared statement.
“These appointments are more about fighting the culture wars than making sure Texas students get the facts they need to make healthy and responsible decisions in their lives,” Miller said.
One of the individuals appointed, Mikeal Love, is a controversial doctor who does not prescribe birth control and calls pregnant women host organisms, according to the Texas Observer.
Love is also the favorite of Ken Paxton, who trouts him out in court every time Republicans need an expert witness to defend regressive anti-abortion laws. As a result, Love has earned $46,000 in taxpayer money for his work with Paxton, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Two other experts on the panel are a well-known abstinence-only advocate and a supporter of creationism in classrooms.
Democrats on the state Board of Education have opposed the hired experts.
Board member Georgina C. Pérez, D-El Paso, said the panel would help the state move “50 years backwards” and was “not a service to students and teachers,” according to the Austin-American Statesman.
The panel will meet with teacher work groups and other state education officials in July to update the health education curriculum.