Mississippi Lawmakers Consider Altering Course

By: Ashley Conroy Email
By: Ashley Conroy Email

Last week, lawmakers in the Mississippi House passed an 'abstinence plus' program that gives parents the option for children to be taught about contraception.

Sex education in schools is a controversial topic in the state, where lawmakers say teaching students abstinence only Isn't enough.

"Just simply saying no hasn't been as effective as it should be," said Rep Greg Holloway, Democrat of Claiborne.

So lawmakers proposed the 'abstinence plus' program known as House Bill 837. It would change the current abstinence only teaching, and give parents the option of allowing their children to learn about contraceptive methods in schools.

But groups such as Students Taking A Radical Stand disagree with this approach, and are asking lawmakers to reconsider this decision.

"Comprehensive sex education programs, they have been funded at four times the level of abstinence education programs," said Larry McAdoo, program director of Students Taking A Radical Stand.

But Holloway says Mississippi has *already spent too much" with the state's high teen birth rate, and if they could reduce this number by 50 percent in the next years, the state could save millions.

"We could save at least a $130 million." said McAdoo.

Holloway says the numbers speak for themselves.

"In 2001, there were 44,000 births. In 2008, there were 48,000m" said Holloway.

Groups like STARS agree that something needs to get done. It's just a question of how Mississippi gets there.

This bill passed in the House last week and now it's headed to the Senate for review.

Should students receive more than just 'abstinence only' instruction in school sex education classes?

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  • by APARENT Location: chunky on Feb 18, 2010 at 03:14 PM
    I must say that here we go again. As I was growing up, my parents taught me right from wrong, responsibility, and all of the other traits that I needed to know. What this state needs to do is forget about birth control, sex education in the schools and lean more to get the sex offenders out of the schools. But here again, Jackson legislature does not read the local paper's to see what is going on in our schools. I agree with Cindy in that the school's cannot do this alone. Parent envolvement is needed, but here again...when and how. YOu know: "I work all day, too busy, too tired"
  • by Anonymous on Feb 18, 2010 at 10:32 AM
    DR. Spock and the rest said it is the school that has the responsibility to teach the moral compass. as students become parents it will be easier to have their child handed over.
  • by candy Location: meridian on Feb 18, 2010 at 05:56 AM
    The abstinence programs within schools should be approached like athletic programs,respectfully, in some regards.In order for a school to succeed in these types of programs parents need to be involved. With that being stated, parental support is very important when a sex topic is discussed. Parents should talk to kids about sex at home and the school should maybe elaborate more extensively. But whatever approach one should take, I think the parents should be involved more.The schools can't succeed alone, a community effort is needed moreso.
  • by SICK of THIS Location: Mississippi on Feb 18, 2010 at 05:08 AM
    WHY in the world is it the school's responsibility to teach these kids responsibility? It is the parent's job to teach them this.
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