“They’re using [a] Peppermint Pattie to show that a girl is no longer clean or valuable after she’s had sex — that she’s been used,” one parent, Marie Barnard, was quoted as saying. “That shouldn’t be the lesson we send kids about sex.”
Barnard told the Times that the lesson, part of the curriculum at her daughter’s school in Tunica, involved students unwrapping the chocolate, then seeing how “dirty” it would get as it was passed around between students.
According to the Times, the state requires individual districts to choose between programs only teaching abstinence or a hybrid method, “abstinence-plus,” which includes some lessons on contraceptive methods. Barnard told the Times she and a group of other parents lobbied their children’s district to include contraception in their lesson plans, which prompted some residents to call them the “sex moms.”
The Times reported that 81 of the state’s 151 school districts and four special schools chose abstinence-only plans, with 71 choosing “abstinence-plus” courses. The other four districts chose a combination of both systems.
Some districts, however, have structured their lessons so that condoms are only discussed regarding their failure rate. Students are also required to get signed permission from their parents before taking “abstinence-plus” courses. The law, which expires in 2016, also requires teachers to inform their student about the state ban on homosexual sex.
“Basically, the law stinks in Mississippi,” Barnard was quoted as saying. “It was exciting to see the state address what is really a serious problem for the state, but they only took a little step forward.”
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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