Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo) (01.12.12) -
In a meeting Tuesday, the Lee County School Board voted to
begin offering an abstinence-only sex education program. The
district currently does not teach sex education; its action
this week conforms to a law passed by the 2011 Legislature,
which requires all districts to present an abstinence-only or
an abstinence-plus curriculum starting with the 2012-13
academic year. Both options allow discussion of condoms and
contraceptives, though risks and failure rates must be
reported, and they require that boys and girls be taught
separately. Districts choosing abstinence-plus will have more
freedom to discuss contraception and STDs. Neither option
allows teachers to say that abortion can prevent the birth of
a baby. "From the information we had, there was not a lot of
difference in what you could teach between the two options,"
said board President Sherry Mask. "We felt it would be best to
start with the abstinence-only program, and we could change it
if we needed to after we became familiar with the program."
The courses will be taught in high school; districts will be
able to choose from curricula approved by the Mississippi
Department of Education.