2010 Mississippi Code
Chapter 13 - Curriculum; School Year and Attendance.
37-13-171 - Abstinence education; components; exception to requirement; parent programs.

§ 37-13-171. Abstinence education; components; exception to requirement; parent programs.

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

(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 contraceptives, but only if such discussion includes a factual presentation of the risks (failure rates, diseases not protected against) 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. 

(2)  A program or instruction on sex education need not include every component listed in subsection (1), however, no program or instruction may include anything that contradicts the excluded components. 

(3)  Any course containing sex education offered in the public schools shall include instruction in abstinence education. However, the local school board may authorize, by affirmative vote of a majority of the members, the teaching of sex education without instruction on abstinence. In such event, the curriculum offered in the schools relating to sex education must be approved by a majority of the school board members. 

(4)  Local school districts, in their discretion, may host programs designed to teach parents how to discuss abstinence with their children. 

Sources: Laws,  1998, ch. 510, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1998.


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