Sex ed in Mississippi still failing students
Mississippi has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country, with 50 births for every 1,000 young women between 15 and 19 years old – yet despite this, attempts to educate young people in the state about safe sex practices have been met with hostility.
Alarmed by the high rates of teen pregnancy, and high number (76 percent) of high school students who report being sexually active by age 17 in the state, members of the business community lobbied the state to make sexual education courses mandatory in public schools. Those lobbying won a partial victory — but actual implementation of the rule has been slowed down in the religious and conservative state.
The Los Angeles Times reports that mother Marie Barnard was pleased when Mississippi made sex education mandatory after many decades of disallowing it. She was less than pleased, however, when she found out one of the “lessons” involved students passing around an unwrapped pieces of chocolate candy and observing how “dirty” it became with more contact. The message does not provide an educated view on sex, or show respect to young people who have been sexually active, she said.
The candy example is just one way the noble goal to educate Mississippi’s youth about responsible sexual activity has gone awry. Part of the enacted law requires parents to sign a permission slip allowing their children to take sex ed courses in the first place. There are also issues of enforcement and the exact curriculum being taught. Individual districts, for example, can choose to implement abstinence-only sex education classes.
So it seems the battle for a sexually-informed generation in Mississippi wages on, even in public school classrooms.
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Of course it’s not working! Sex is everywhere in our society! Why would it be different in the teen culture? Objecting to potentially effective teaching methods (like the candy bar) seems to be shooting the schools in the foot.
Why don’t they put pressure on Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole to produce WHOLESOME programming that the kids will want to emulate? When 5-year-old girls are dancing in a sexually provocative manner because they saw a program on YouTube or television that demonstrated that activity it’s time to stop overhauling the education field and do something about entertainment!!!
Don’t blame Hollywood! Put the blame where it should be. . . right on the backs of the school districts that don’t want to spend the money on proven sex education curriculum! Yeh, they can blame others, but I know. I know that most unsuccessful programs are due to budget constraints. Again, it’s all about the money.
Oops. . . last post should have started. . . “Don’t WANT to blame Hollywood? Then put . . . ” I should have edited better!
AftonChristing. . . you seem to have a lot of opinions but don’t really know which one you believe!
I’m wondering if society isn’t putting more pressure on the schools that should be put on the families and parents! Shouldn’t sex ed be taught at home? Why are schools to blame for the break-down of the family? Maybe more community involvment to help families teach moral sexual bahavior rather than school mandated programs is a better way to go?
Sad commentary on the school system in Mississippi. If the school systems can’t institute a school-wide sex ed curriculum and, thus, have a rampant problem with teen pregnancy, then the school needs reformed from the top down.