Will Teaching Abstinence Make a Difference?
June 1, 2012
School districts across Mississippi have approved an abstinence program for the school year that begins in August. The choices are abstinence-only or abstinence-plus, which includes information about contraceptives.
It still remains to be seen whether sex education will make a difference in the state’s high teen pregnancy rates.
The big question for parents is whether they’ll allow their children to participate in the sex education classes. According to state law, school districts must obtain parental consent for their child to participate.
As a teacher, I find it hard to talk about sex in an English class when it does not fit into the piece of literature we may be studying. For that matter, I find it hard to talk about sex to students, period. This is a sticky situation and must be done with care. No teacher wants to be the target of a lawsuit.
In my opinion, abstinence should be taught at home. Parents must begin having these talks with their children at a much earlier age and making sure they understand the consequences. Some things are a parent’s job, and teaching their children to abstain from sex is one of those jobs.
Schools have enough to teach. The addition of abstinence classes will have many implications, particularly if some teachers cannot adequately teach the subject. I really believe the state has this one wrong. Schools should be allowed to continue perfecting the pedagogy of English, math, science and social studies.
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