Abstinence Plus won't be taught as part of school curriculum - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Abstinence Plus won't be taught as part of school curriculum

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JACKSON, MS (WLOX) -

By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - A bill that would change the way sex education is taught in Mississippi schools died in the legislature.

With Mississippi having the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, lawmakers who support this bill are disappointed.

"We have a terrible problem in Mississippi with infant mortality and with teen pregnancy, with sexually transmitted diseases," Chairman of the House Education Committee Cecil Brown said.

House Bill 837 was known as the Abstinence Plus bill. Chairman Brown said it was less about teaching teens about safe sex, and more about teaching them self respect.

"It starts out not really talking directly about sex education, but it talks about respecting yourself living a health life."

Tawni Lovorn, who works with Mississippi DREAM, said after teaching sex education in the past, she's learned that teens mostly listen to their peers.

"As adolescents, they care more about their peers' thoughts and thinking. So they believe them more so than their parents," Lovorn said.

In addition, Lovorn said the wrong information about sex can lead teens down the wrong path.

"And through those discussions and open communications, they found out a lot of the myths that their peers were teaching them were wrong," Lovorn said.

Brown said this costs the state millions of dollars every year, and plans to address this issue during the 2011 legislative session.

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