Oxford sex education controversy

(WMC-TV) - Mississippi law now requires school districts to create sex education curriculum for their middle schools and high schools. It's putting the decisions on what kind of programs in local hands, which is stirring up concerned parents in Oxford.

The Facebook page called Plus Parents has been created by parents in Oxford concerned about how their children will be taught sex education when school is back in session.

"It can be one of two programs either abstinence only or abstinence plus," said Buddy Chain, President of the Oxford School Board.

At its meeting this past week the board made its first vote, 3 to 2, in favor of middle school students being taught abstinence only.  High School students would be taught abstinence plus, which explains contraceptives and STD's.

"We got input from a committee, that is in my book an impressive committee," said Chain.

Though who served on the committee was a concern for some, Plus Parents members who this week filed a freedom of information request to find that out. Chain says it's made up of people who work in education or the health department.

"We've heard a good deal from parents," Chain stated.

Those parents still have time to make a difference.  There will be a 2nd and final vote by the school board on June 25th.

Based on the Plus Parents Facebook page, at least some of the group's 286 members plan to be there with their own research in hand.  Research they believe shows abstinence plus is the best option for both middle and high school students.

Chain says he has one goal in this process.

"I hope it will provide our youngsters with the knowledge to make wise decisions when it comes to any sexual experiences," said Chain.

Parents can opt out of the programs.  A look at what surrounding Mississippi counties did shows Tunica chose abstinence plus for all students and Tate and DeSoto Counties went with abstinence only for all students. By state law a decision must be made by July 1st.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.