Tulsa Public Schools votes to introduce sex education program to curb STDs, teen pregnancy

TULSA - In a near-unanimous vote, Tulsa Public Schools voted Tuesday night to allow a new teen pregnancy prevention program at several of the district's high schools.

Board members voted 6-1 for the program, "Making Proud Choices: A Safer Sex Approach to HIV/STDs and Teen Pregnancy Prevention," which would be the first of such kind at Clinton High School, Webster High School, Memorial High School and Memorial Junior High.

The program will be conducted as an eight-hour course beginning in October that is expected to be taught during physical education class time. District administrators, who maintain that the material is age-appropriate, say more schools may also adopt the program in December.

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The course had previously only been taught in summer school on an opt-in basis, according to TPS spokesman Chris Payne.

And while officials acknowledge it's a taboo subject for many families, they're hoping that by talking about the subject they can curb the problem.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Oklahoma ranked fourth in the nation in 2011 for teen pregnancy for girls ages 15 to 19. Tulsa's rate is four times higher than the Oklahoma average.

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