Target: Dr. Carey M. Wright, State Superintendent of Education at the Mississippi Department of Education
Goal: Require Mississippi schools to teach sex education that is factual and medically accurate
Mississippi is among one of America’s least educated states, and their policies on sex education are making national headlines now that teachers are using biased and unfounded beliefs to teach their students about important issues. Mississippi education policies should require teachers to present factual and medically accurate information to students, lest Mississippi fall even further behind the rest of American states. Urge the Department of Education to reform Mississippi education policies immediately.
One Mississippi teacher incited a national uproar by having students unwrap Peppermint Patties in class, pass them around, and see if they would be willing to eat the candy that had been touched by their classmates in order “to show that a girl is no longer clean or valuable after she’s had sex — that she’s been used,” said a parent. Sadly, this teacher is legally permitted to present such tasteless information to students because there is no state mandate that requires sex education lessons to be unbiased or accurate.
If one prejudiced lesson isn’t harmful enough, consider Mississippi’s mandated sex-education curriculum that requires teachers to instruct that homosexuality is unnatural, and that heterosexual monogamous relationships within the bounds of marriage are “the only appropriate setting for sexual intercourse.” This Bible Belt state continues to suffer in education because its residents overwhelmingly approve of politically or religiously conservative ideals to the detriment of their children.
While Mississippi fortunately passed a bill in 2011 that required sex education to be taught in schools, the law fails to benefit students if the education they receive is unfounded or blatantly wrong. Not surprisingly, the state has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, a direct result of such flawed education.
At present, the state has no requirement for sex education to be culturally appropriate, and parents may even choose to pull their students from sex education classes altogether.
Mississippi students deserve better than this. They deserve to be given the same factual information their fellow American peers receive, and they deserve a better chance at succeeding in life by attaining a valuable and consistent education. Urge the Department of Education to reform Mississippi sex education policies immediately.
Dear Dr. Carey M. Wright, State Superintendent of Education at the Mississippi Department of Education,
Mississippi students are suffering from insufficient education policies that do not require teachers to present factual, unbiased, and medically accurate data in sex education courses. This serious problem contributes to Mississippi’s high teen pregnancy rate, and the state remains one of nation’s least educated as young people continue to be denied facts for political and religious reasons.
In order to mitigate this problem, I urge you to reform Mississippi education policies and mandate that teachers instruct students with accurate, unbiased information in sex education courses.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: JonRidinger via Wikimedia Commons