HERNANDO, MS (abc24.com) - Mississippi's largest school district says it will start teaching abstinence-only sex education classes starting next year.
The DeSoto County School Board voted unanimously Monday night to opt for the abstinence-only curriculum.
Under a new Mississippi law, school districts must decide whether to teach abstinence-only or an alternative called abstinence-plus. Abstinence-plus will include lessons on condom and contraceptive use.
"Looking at those parameters we just felt like what was best for our district was the abstinence only," said Keith Williams, DeSoto County Associate Superintendent.
"There is a component of that actual bill that gives the parents the right to opt in what we are teaching or to opt out. So those parents will have that choice," he said.
"We would like to say abstinence but this is the 20th century, that's not happening," said Tiffany Taylor, who has a 16-year-old daughter.
Taylor says she's talked with her daughter, but would like those lessons reinforced at school.
"I want her to know what's going on and I want her to be prepared instead of being out there not knowing anything," she said.
"That's not the only thing children need to know, it is a good thing, but they need to know all the other options also," said Stella Lee, a Southaven resident.
The district says it is still working on the curriculum, and will train teachers before it is implemented next school year.