[Rachel talks about House Bill 837 in the 2010 Legislative Session.]

Compromise Sex-Ed Bill Moves Ahead by Lacey McLaughlin

Jackson Free Press–January 21, 2010

School districts would have to choose between implementing an abstinence-only or an abstinence-plus sex education curriculum by June 2011 under a bill the House Education Committee passed Wednesday.

Rachel Hicks, executive director of Mississippi First, an education policy group said that because Mississippi’s teen birth rate exceeds the national average by 60 percent, the bill needs to have more specifics on sex education curriculum.

“This is a starting point, and it’s better than nothing, but we can’t afford to make lukewarm policy,” Hicks said. “When a bill is left vague, that is a huge opportunity for it to be watered down.”

Hicks also cited a recent national study by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, and analysis by experts from the federal Centers from Disease Control and Prevention concluding that sex-education programs with emphasis on contraception decrease risky sexual behavior among teens.

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