Rep. Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge recently submitted a bill to Louisiana legislature that would require local public schools to include comprehensive sex education as part of the health curriculum. The bill was voted down 23-67, but a dialogue has been opened questioning the state of sex education in Louisiana.

Currently, sex education in Louisiana schools is optional by school district with 24 of 70 districts participating. The sex education curriculum focusses on abstinence. Smith says this is not enough.

We have a problem in our society today, ladies and gentlemen. No one can stop anyone from doing what they want to do. But the most important thing is to provide accurate information to our young people about the risks of sexual activity. - Rep. Pat Smith

Smith wants sex education to be made mandatory in Louisiana, a belief she backs up with statistics. According to Smith, Louisiana ranks in the top five nationally for cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, Chlamydia.

Opponents to Smith's legislation say that sex education should be left to the parents.