M.I.S.D. is hoping to curb the number of young women seeking pregnancy assistance by establishing a sex education program in schools -- something they haven't had in over three years. The district is considering a number of different programs, including abstinence only and abstinence plus -- where they promote abstinence, but educate students about safe alternatives. But not everyone is happy with M.I.S.D.'s initiative.
$9.1 billion. That's how much teen pregnancy is costing you the United States taxpayer each year. Everyone wants the issued to be resolved, but how to resolve it is another problem. The Catholic church has been one of the main opponents to abstinence plus, and Bishop Pfeifer of San Angelo Diocese is speaking out.
“Abstinence plus is a contradiction, and young people know that," said Bishop Pfeifer. "To say we want you to be abstinent but there is something else you can do what that's doing is promoting promiscuity.”
Others believe that sex education is the responsibility of the parents, not the schools.
“If parents are doing the education at home, then the schools doesn't have to work so hard," said Ryan Loyd, Director of Education at The Life Center in Midland. "They would just have to reinforce than provide the actual message.”
“Schools should be there to assist us in understanding our physical make up," said Bishop Pfeifer. "But schools should not dictate what kind of programs.”
But school officials say that doing nothing isn't working. In facing that revelation, they believe they hold as much of a responsibility to teach sex education as they do to teach nutrition and writing.
“We're into a lot of different avenues that weren't traditionally the school's role in the past," said M.I.S.D. Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren. "But because of legislation we got into a lot of different avenues. “
Dr. Warren also said there will be an opt out option for students if they or their parents disagree with the lesson plan. Still, M.I.S.D. knows it's a touchy topic. They're taking all sides into account and have a difficult decision to make.
“This is giving me a lot of feedback concerning the community expectation," said Dr. Warren. "What is important here -- and that is going to help me make the best decision -- is what's going to best here for the kids.”
M.I.S.D. officials hope to make the decision sometime soon i and begin the new sex education program in the fall.