For as long as anyone can remember, McLennan County has been abstinence country. Nestled in the heart of Bible-Belt Texas, it’s the kind of place where the local newspaper prints ‘In God We Trust’ on the front page of every edition. ‘We’re a very conservative community,’ says Jan Hungate, an assistant superintendent for the West Independent School District. So when the McLennan County Collaborative Abstinence Program (MCCAP) came to her a little more than a decade ago, offering an abstinence-only sex education program, she says, ‘It was the answer to our prayers. It was exactly the way we wanted to go.’ For years, each school was responsible for developing their own curriculum. Armed with the federal government’s new abstinence-only grants, MCCAP offered to do the heavy lifting for free. They taught kids proper dating behavior, encouraged female students to think about their wedding days and why their virginity would matter then. In 2006 MCCAP had a $1 million budget, all from government grants, which they used to educate 6,000 to 7,000 students. Today, MCCAP struggles to reach half that number. Its $800,000 Community-Based Abstinence Education grant ran out in 2007 and was not renewed. Then, Obama’s 2010 budget did […]

Read the Full Article