School systems ponder sex education options

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — School districts across Mississippi are continuing to weigh their options on sex education classes.

Mississippi schools have until June 30 to decide how to incorporate “abstinence-only” or “abstinence-plus” classes into the curriculum for the 2012-2013 school year.

State law allows abstinence-only programs to include discussion of condoms and contraceptives if they give the risks and failure rates of each. Abstinence-plus programs have more leeway to discuss condoms and contraceptives but are still required to provide the risks and failure rates.

The courses will be optional, and parents will have to opt-in or opt-out for their child. Boys and girls will be separated, and the courses will be taught at the high school level.

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