Oxford school board divided over sex curricula

By The Associated Press

OXFORD – Oxford School District trustees divided at their regularly monthly meeting on Tuesday over how best to offer state-mandated sex education.
Board members Whitney Byars and Marian Barksdale dissented on the votes to implement an abstinence-only curriculum at Oxford Middle School and an abstinence-plus curriculum at Oxford High School.
As required in state law, the curricula will be available only if parents opt-in their children, and classes will be gender-segregated.
Byars argued for a different abstinence-plus curriculum approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“The concern is that Mississippi has rushed into this, and they may not have studied it as carefully as the federal agency,” she said.
Board member Romana Reed countered, “If we approve things based on federal agencies, I don’t know what we’re getting into.”
Tuesday’s vote was a preliminary one and must be followed by another in June.