Texas school board votes to remove “controversial” topics—including vaccines—from textbooks

Last week, a school board in Cypress, Texas, voted to remove a list of “controversial” topics from textbooks. Banned topics include vaccines, human development, climate and conservation, and diversity and culture. The decision gained widespread attention across social media platforms, with some social media users expressing support for the school board’s decision and others speaking out against it. One user wrote, “If adults in the suburbs don’t want vaccines, we should just let them live at risk of contracting the diseases. As long as tax payers don’t pay their medical bills.” 

Recommendation: Trending conversations about vaccines provide an opportunity for health departments, community-based organizations, and other partners in Texas to educate target populations on the safety and importance of vaccines and herd immunity. Messaging may emphasize that recommended vaccines are safe for adults and children and protect people from serious, preventable illnesses. Updating informational materials with messaging explaining that recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases are due to a decline in vaccination rates, which jeopardizes herd immunity, is recommended.