A bill requiring sex education to be taught in public schools is up for debate for the legislative session that begins March 12th. Public schools currently have the authority to teach sex education, but Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith would like to see it mandatory. She says sex education would help prevent teen pregnancies.

Smith says teaching kids about sex at a young age could reduce the state's teen birth rate and reduce the spreading of STD's. She says abstinence is being taught in schools right now and it's not working. She says she'd like to see a more comprehensive approach taken in teaching children how to form healthy, age appropriate relationships

Smith says even though schools would be required to teach sex education, a parent could opt out. She says it's important to be able to communicate to students about sexuality and intimate relations.

Smith says she filed similar legislation in 2010.