As we reported earlier this week, Senate Bill 521 was passed out of state Sen. Dan Patrick’s Education Committee and is on its way to the full Senate. While we wait for any new developments on this bill, here’s video of TFN President Kathy Miller testifying against this reckless anti-sex ed legislation earlier this month (more after the video):
There is also an interesting story in The Atlantic on sex education in Mississippi. You’ve surely heard or used the phrase “Thank God for Mississippi.” It’s what people not in Mississippi sometimes say to make themselves feel better about how poorly their state may be doing in something.
From the Atlantic story:
As it happens, these topics are my specialty as an investigative reporter, and Mississippi lured me by topping two national lists: the state is the most religious in the union and has the highest teen birth rate. So I was intrigued when House Bill 999 (HB999) — which for the first time ever requires that sex education be taught in public schools — passed the Mississippi legislature. Sex itself is a politically and religiously charged subject anywhere and in Mississippi you can take that to the power of 10.
House Bill 999 mandates teaching abstinence-based sex education in all Mississippi public schools. A school district may decide to teach an “abstinence plus” curriculum — encouraging abstinence while providing information about contraception — but even in those cases, the bill bans demonstration of proper condom use.
Things are a little different in Texas, where school districts are not required to teach sex ed. But if a district does decide to teach it, it is mandated to emphasize abstinence. That policy, and spending the most federal dollars of any state to teach abstinence-only, has left Texas with the fourth-highest teen birth rate in the country.
And now we have SB 521, which if approved, won’t do anything to help. So we can continue to rely on Mississippi to make ourselves feel better, or we can try to actually do better.
Or the Legislature could approve SB 521 and the rest of us can just get used to Mississippians saying “Thank God for Texas.”