Mississippi - HE K-12 curriculum—abstinence only education (ES): Curricula

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State law addresses abstinence only education.

Mississippi Code. § 37-13-171 Abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education

(1) The local school board of every public school district shall adopt a policy to implement abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education into its curriculum by June 30, 2012, which instruction in those subjects shall be implemented not later than the start of the 2012-2013 school year or the local school board shall adopt the program which has been developed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Department of Health. The State Department of Education shall approve each district's curriculum for sex-related education and shall establish a protocol to be used by districts to provide continuity in teaching the approved curriculum in a manner that is age, grade and developmentally appropriate.

Mississippi Code. § 37-13-171 Abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education

(2) Abstinence-only education shall remain the state standard for any sex-related education taught in the public schools. For purposes of this section, abstinence-only education includes any type of instruction or program which, at an appropriate age and grade:

  • (a) Teaches the social, psychological and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity, and the likely negative psychological and physical effects of not abstaining;
  • (b) Teaches the harmful consequences to the child, the child's parents and society that bearing children out of wedlock is likely to produce, including the health, educational, financial and other difficulties the child and his or her parents are likely to face, as well as the inappropriateness of the social and economic burden placed on others;
  • (c) Teaches that unwanted sexual advances are irresponsible and teaches how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increases vulnerability to sexual advances;
  • (d) Teaches that abstinence from sexual activity before marriage, and fidelity within marriage, is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and related health problems. The instruction or program may include a discussion on condoms or contraceptives, but only if that discussion includes a factual presentation of the risks and failure rates of those contraceptives. In no case shall the instruction or program include any demonstration of how condoms or other contraceptives are applied;
  • (e) Teaches the current state law related to sexual conduct, including forcible rape, statutory rape, paternity establishment, child support and homosexual activity; and
  • (f) Teaches that a mutually faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the only appropriate setting for sexual intercourse.
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