DeSoto schools tackle new sex education law - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

DeSoto schools tackle new sex education law

The DeSoto County Schools board has an important decision to make about its sex education program thanks to a new state law requiring that the subject matter be taught. The DeSoto County Schools board has an important decision to make about its sex education program thanks to a new state law requiring that the subject matter be taught.

(WMC-TV) – The DeSoto County Schools board has an important decision to make about its sex education program thanks to a new state law requiring that the subject matter be taught.

The law requires that each school board implement either an abstinence-only or abstinence-plus curriculum.

"Abstinence-only is simply what it says - we're just teaching abstinence," said Keith Williams, associate superintendent of Desoto County Schools. "Abstinence-plus will give you a little leeway as far as the scope and sequence of the instruction, a more broader range to cover specifically as it relates to contraceptives and STD's."

Williams said members of the school board are considering the abstinence-only approach.

"What we want the kids to get out of the program, we want them to know the psychological gains, the social gains and health gains they can get from practicing abstinence," he said.

According to the law, age-appropriate sex education must be taught in separate classes for boys and girls and that abortion will not be taught as a means of preventing birth.

The law also specifies that each student or their parents will have the opportunity to opt out of the program if they choose to.

"Parents can say I don't want my child to receive this type of instruction," said Williams.

The program will be taught to middle and high school students in grades 6 through 12.

"We'll just infuse it in, teach it for maybe a week or two, then we've met the mandate," he said.

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