New law makes sex education mandatory in Mississippi schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New law makes sex education mandatory in Mississippi schools

By Daniel Hight - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Sex education is now mandatory in Mississippi schools, after Governor Haley Barbour signed a law Thursday requiring districts to teach some form of sex ed.

Mississippi House Bill 999 requires all public schools to teach a sex education curricula.  The choice is between abstinence, and abstinence-plus.

Rep. John Mayo says the bill is an attempt to curb the highest rate of teen pregnancies in the country.

"You've just got to deal with the realities of society, and we thought this was the best we could do," Mayo said Friday.

According to Mayo, the problem increases health risks for the mother and the baby, as well creates a large financial burden on the state.

"We felt like there is a responsibility incumbent upon the state for the general health and welfare and for financial reasons to lower the teen pregnancy rate," he said.

The curricula teaches abstinence as the best way to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases.

Mississippi resident Candice Craven has elementary aged children and said, when they're ready, she'll teach them to abstain from sex.  However, she believes a talk on sex isn't the schools responsibility.

"I think it's a parent's job and duty to take care of their children and let them know this is what you need to do, this is what you don't need to do," she said.

The bill says parents must opt their kids into the program. It will also require boys and girls to be separated for sex education.

The law will be reviewed after 5 years to see if it is makes any difference at all.

Click here to read the bill.

What do you think?  Should sex education be mandatory in schools?  Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

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