Schools Face Deadline on Sex Education

By: Nick Adam Email
By: Nick Adam Email

Area school districts are looking to meet a June 30 deadline to implement state-approved sex education curricula for the next school year.

State mandated sex education programs will be in place by the middle of this summer.

Neshoba County and Philadelphia schools have released that they will be using an abstinence-only model, one where students will be separated by gender, and parents may select an opt out for their children.

Other school districts are weighing their options on this issue.

Here in Lauderdale County progress is being made by both public school districts.

Lauderdale County officials say they are still deciding between abstinence-only and abstinence- plus policies.

"The school district has met with the nurses and they have decided on a program and it will be taken to the board in the June board meeting," said Ryan Powell, curriculum director for Lauderdale County Schools. "And that way we'll meet the June 30 deadline by the state department."

House Bill 999 requires that schools make the pick between those two sex education choices. Meridian Public Schools has made its choice.

"With abstinence-plus, you can add information about sexually-transmitted diseases, and the program has to be implemented by the school nurses, so the district has gone with an abstinence-plus policy," said Robin Miles of Meridian Public Schools.

Miles says the district will continue to make sure students get accurate and medically correct information, but the state-mandated rules will force some changes.

"We found that it was very beneficial in the past for boys and girls to be together, because there are some scenarios in the curriculum where students could talk about certain situations they might encounter," Miles said.

Mississippi has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country and here are some of the reasons that contribute to that. The Centers for Disease Control found that 39 percent of high school students have had sex. Thirteen percent did so before the age of 13. A quarter of them have had four or more partners.


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