Amory schools to teach abstinence-only sex ed

By Rex Wilgus/Monroe Journal

AMORY – The Amory School District will implement a new sex education curriculum during the coming new school year. An update on the matter was provided at the regular meeting of the Amory School District board on April 9, 2012 by Dr. Leigh Mobley.

The district has decided on the Abstinence Only program, which Dr. Mobley said was more in line with the program already in place. The state-supplied curriculum involves eight lessons at P.E. with boys and girls separated. The class will be taught to 6th, 7th and 8th graders during the upcoming school year; afterward, it will be taught only to 7th graders. Parents can opt out if they do not want their children to attend.

The program includes videos, a student workbook and take-home interviews; details on the program will be available on the school district’s website for parents to inspect once they are finalized.

A sample policy states that, “Every student has the right to accurate information concerning the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The school board is committed to fostering community partnerships that educate both students and parents about this important topic.”

The program will help students and parents take action to reduce rates of teen birth and STDs while establishing principles, guidelines and strategies for implementing effective sex education programs.

Abstinence Only prohibits discussion of abortion. Contraception can be discussed, but not demonstrated, Mobley said.

The program teaches “some or all” of the following: the social, psychological and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity, and the likely negative effects from not doing so; the harmful consequences that bearing a child out of wedlock is likely to produce; that unwanted sexual advances are irresponsible; that a mutually faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the only appropriate setting for sexual intercourse.

The state requires that a sex ed program be put into place no later than the end of June.