Most Miss. districts choose abstinence for sex ed

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS
Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - More than half of Mississippi's school districts have chosen an abstinence-only approach to sex education, starting in the upcoming school year.

A list released Friday by the state Department of Education shows 81 districts have chosen that approach. Seventy-one have chosen abstinence-plus, which could include the mention of contraception - but still without any demonstration of condoms.

Three districts are taking a split approach, with abstinence-only for younger grades and abstinence-plus for older grades.

Mississippi has long had 1 of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the nation. A 2011 state law requires school districts to teach some sort of sex education, beginning in the 2012-13 academic year. Districts had a June 30 deadline to choose abstinence-only or abstinence-plus.

Parents must give permission for their children to take the classes.

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