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

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State law addresses abstinence only education.

Mississippi Code. § 41-79-5 School nurse intervention program

(2) By the school year 1998-1999, each public school district shall have employed a school nurse, to be known as a Health Service Coordinator, pursuant to the school nurse intervention program prescribed under this section. The school nurse intervention program shall offer any of the following specific preventive services, and other additional services appropriate to each grade level and the age and maturity of the pupils:

  • (a) Reproductive health education and referral to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, which education shall include abstinence;
  • (b) Child abuse and neglect identification;
  • (c) Hearing and vision screening to detect problems which can lead to serious sensory losses and behavioral and academic problems;
  • (d) Alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse education to reduce abuse of these substances;
  • (e) Scoliosis screening to detect this condition so that costly and painful surgery and lifelong disability can be prevented;
  • (f) Coordination of services for handicapped children to ensure that these children receive appropriate medical assistance and are able to remain in public school;
  • (g) Nutrition education and counseling to prevent obesity and/or other eating disorders which may lead to life-threatening conditions, for example, hypertension;
  • (h) Early detection and treatment of head lice to prevent the spread of the parasite and to reduce absenteeism;
  • (i) Emergency treatment of injury and illness to include controlling bleeding, managing fractures, bruises or contusions and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR);
  • (j) Applying appropriate theory as the basis for decision making in nursing practice;
  • (k) Establishing and maintaining a comprehensive school health program;
  • (l) Developing individualized health plans;
  • (m) Assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating programs and other school health activities, in collaboration with other professionals;
  • (n) Providing health education to assist students, families and groups to achieve optimal levels of wellness;

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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