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Paying Teens Not To Have Sex, Not Popular in Mississippi

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(Southaven, MS) Stacey Johnson found out the hard way the consequences of having sex in high school. She's all about finding ways to keep kids from having a child early, like she did, but paying them to keep their pants on?   It's a little much for her.

“If I got paid $200 a month to not have sex, with my mentality, I would be more careful to make sure they don't find out”, said Johnson.

In East Africa, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation tried it.  Sex education, good attendance, and cash were offered to teens. They were simply asked to keep a record whether they had sex.  Those who got the cash waited much longer to have sex than kids who didn't.   Atlantic Magazine proposed trying that idea in the magnolia state, more Mississippi teens get pregnant than any other state in the country.

Mississippi's sexual education is abstinence only. Some young people say that should change before you bribe kids into doing the right thing.   Ashley Saulsberry added, the whole thing needs oversight.

“Is anyone checking back on it? Especially if it’s by the honor code”, said Saulsberry.

But former teen mom Stacey Johnson things strong parents in the home, role models --- that's the big fix.  In fact, it's what she's doing.

“I do work with girls, trying to instill in them dignity, pride, understanding to where you don't have to sleep around to be accepted”, said Johnson.