Schools teach sexual abstinence

By GAYLE COULTER State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Sex sells but can educators sell the idea of saying no to sex?

The number of teen-age girls who get pregnant in Kentucky each year is still way too high. The chances of contracting HIV or a sexually transmitted disease (STD) have never been higher.

That's why Heritage Community Services of Kentucky has contracted with Franklin County Public Schools to teach middle school students the art of saying no to sex. School officials said teaching abstinence is a part of character education.

Greg Williams, state director for Heritage, said his agency hopes abstinence education will help prevent students from facing the problems that often accompany adolescent sex such as pregnancy and exposure to STDs and HIV.

According to 2002 statistics from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Kentucky was ranked 37th in the nation with an average of 56 out of 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19 who give birth compared to the national average of 50 out of 1,000.

For more on this story, see today's State Journal.

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