December 9, 2011 11:03:00 AM
By JEFF AMY
JACKSON -- Health advocates are urging school districts to adopt enhanced sex education classes, saying it would cut teen pregnancy rates and infections with sexually-transmitted diseases.
In a conference Thursday, they said a new state law allowing "abstinence-plus" education gives schools a chance to present more information and use programs that have been proven to work. Advocates urged school districts to move beyond just telling kids not to have sex. They said that despite sometimes vocal opposition, a poll shows that most Mississippi parents support education beyond the abstinence-only approach that had been the state's policy.
Though Mississippi's teen pregnancy rate has fallen in recent years, it remains well above the national average. And Mississippi ranks high for most types of sexually-transmitted diseases, with young people often the dominant group getting infected.
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