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Abstinence based sex-ed program shows deep divide in Parkway School District parents

CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) – A sexual education program called Thrive is causing controversy at schools around the St. Louis area.

At a Parkway School Board meeting Wednesday night hundreds of people packed in to voice their opinions.

The issue that has everyone talking, an abstinence based "Best Choice" sex-ed program by Thrive, a Christian Pro-Life organization.

Some parents at the meeting did not like the idea of a faith based program being taught in public schools.

Opponents said the Thrive program may use correct medical facts but it also uses psychological shaming.

One parent said the Thrive material her 13-year-old has gives the impression that if you have sex before marriage you are “unclean” and it will lessen your ability to “bond” with your future spouse.

Proponents of Thrive said it is the state law that schools teach a sex-ed curriculum with abstinence and the program is based on medical facts.

A spokesperson with the Parkway School District said the school uses Thrive as a supplement to their sex-ed program and they have put all Thrive speakers on hold while they look further into the curriculum.

Parkway is not the only school district using this program, many others throughout the St. Louis area also use Thrive.