This past Tuesday (3/20), I presented the CHART abstinence-plus policy to the Indianola School Board. The Indianola School District is one of three districts in Sunflower County, which we’ve identified as Priority 1.
During the Q/A session with the board members, it was clear that there were strong support for abstinence-plus within the district. Most of the questions were focused on “the cost” to the district and clarification about when sex education would need to be taught. While I stated that Priority 1 districts would receive guaranteed funding for CHART, the district conservator mentioned that there would be “cost” in terms of the time investment. It was also pointed out that all districts would have to invest time, regardless of what policy they chose to adopt. As for the grades, I stated that CHART districts must start no later than the 7th grade, and that MSDH wants districts to fully implement the federally-funded curricula (ex. A district can’t choose to teach one grade of a 6-8th grade middle school curriculum).
The district may be looking into doing a parent survey before they adopt a policy, though it’s very likely that the results would be similar to those published by the Center for Mississippi Health Policy this past December. We’re hoping that the board will make a final decision during their April meeting.