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Please, calm down

Thursday, Apr 18, 2013

* The Illinois Family Institute was pretty darned angry about the passage yesterday of medical marijuana, but they were even angrier about another bill that passed the House today. From an action alert

The Illinois House of Representatives passed the disastrous “Comprehensive”Sex Education (HB 2675) this afternoon by a vote of 66–52. This bill would mandate that public school who teach sex education teach “comprehensive” sex education in grades 6-12. That may sound reasonable until you read what the national go-to organization for sex-ed curriculum, SEICUS, lists as “age-appropriate.”

Illinois law currently mandates that schools teach abstinence until marriage. Teaching “comprehensive” sex education is currently optional as a local school decision. This bill was sponsored by State Representative Camille Lilly (D-Chicago) and heavily promoted by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Illinois.

Click HERE to see how your state representative voted on this anti-family legislation. It is important to note that State Representatives David Reis (R-Olney), Tom Morrison (R-Palatine), Pam Roth (R-Morris), and Dwight Kay(R-Edwardsville) raised strong objections to the bill during floor debate.

HB 2675 is completely unnecessary and an intrusion into local control. Public schools in Illinois already have the ability to teach “comprehensive” sex education if they wish. Local public school administrators do not need a mandate from Springfield telling them they must teach comprehensive sex education when the preponderance of evidence suggests, and the U.S. Congress agrees, that authentic abstinence education is successful. […]

Contraception-centered sex-education curricula encourage children and youth into early sexual experimentation. They mislead youth and create a false hope that condoms will provide sufficient protection from the physical, emotional and social consequences of early sexual activity. Authentic abstinence education programs provide youth with life and character skills, not condom skills. Sexual activity among youth is far too costly for adolescents, families, society and taxpayers.

Passing HB 2675 would mandate the teaching of curricula that most parents and taxpayers would find objectionable. Please take a moment to contact your state senator to urge him/her to stand in opposition to this bill.

* Rep. Morrison, mentioned above, repeatedly asked whether the bill was an initiative of Planned Parenthood (his questions begin at the one hour, 47-minute mark of this video). He was told it was an initiative of several groups.

Morrison said he was curious why Planned Parenthood would be a supporter of the bill. He noted that the group is a “major abortion provider in this state and in this country.” And then he said…

It’s not a stretch to realize that young people as they engage in more sexual activity are going to be in situations where they’re going to be pregnant, where they’re going to turn to an abortion provider liked Planned Parenthood

So, Planned Parenthood wants comprehensive sex ed because they want the cash for providing the resulting abortions?

Sigh.

* Rep. Dwight Kay asked (starting at about the two hour 15-minute mark) the sponsor why she didn’t introduce a bill dealing with drugs in schools. “We ought to be teaching about how to avoid drug addiction,” Kay said. “I’m wondering about why we’re not talking about that?” The sponsor, Rep. Lilly, said she really appreciated Kay’s” passion,” and said she’d be glad to consider such a bill if Kay ever introduced one. Rep. Kay has not introduced such a bill this year, according to the ILGA website.

Sigh again.

* Here’s what is really going on with the bill

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Chicago), emphasizes “that abstinence from sexual intercourse is a responsible and positive decision and is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against unwanted teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and [AIDS] when transmitted sexually.”

Despite Republican concerns that the measure goes too far in taking local control away from schools and that some children may be too young to be taught sex education, the bill passed by a 66-52 margin and now moves to the Senate. […]

Lilly said local school districts would determine their own curricula using guidelines set by the Illinois State Board of Education that are “developmentally and age-appropriate, medically accurate and complete.” She said sixth graders, for instance, could learn to identify reproductive parts, while students couldn’t learn about contraceptives until high school.

“We do not want sex education to be taught to children at an inappropriate age,” Lilly said. “This legislation brings standards to what is going to be taught and approved by each of the individual educational boards.”

Lilly’s bill would also allow parents to remove their children from the class for any reason with a written objection.

“The school and the school officials approve every curriculum here in their particular school system,” Lilly said. “And also the parents have the ability to opt out of whatever was approved by the school officials.”

* From the bill’s synopsis

Makes changes to provide that each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades 6 through 12 shall include instruction on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Makes changes to provide that all classes that teach sex education and discuss sexual intercourse in grades 6 through 12 shall emphasize that abstinence from sexual intercourse is a responsible and positive decision and is the only protection that is 100% effective against unwanted teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) when transmitted sexually. Makes changes to provide that all classes that teach sex education and discuss sexual intercourse in grades 6 through 12 shall satisfy specified criteria. Provides that an opportunity shall be afforded to individuals (not just parents or guardians) to examine the instructional materials to be used in the class or course. Provides that the State Board of Education shall make available resource materials. Provides that school districts that do not currently provide sex education are not required to teach sex education. Provides that if a sex education class or course is offered in any of grades 6 through 12, the school district may choose and adapt the developmentally and age-appropriate, medically accurate, evidence-based, and complete sex education curriculum that meets the specific needs of its community. Provides that the Comprehensive Health Education Program shall include the educational area of evidence-based and medically accurate information regarding sexual abstinence (instead of the area of sexual abstinence until marriage). [Emphasis added.]

It’s not a mandate, so public schools which don’t currently teach sex ed don’t have to. Parents can opt out (that’s in the underlying statute), which is a very good thing. Abstinence is part of the curriculum. Private schools are not included. Citizens, not just parents, can examine the instructional materials. And, by the way, the statute hasn’t been updated in almost thirty years.

* There is always good reason to have a healthy skepticism of any and all legislation debated by the General Assembly. This bill is no different. At all. In any way.

But a healthy skepticism doesn’t include bizarre conspiracy theories, red herrings and false statements.

* The roll call is here.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross and GOP Rep. Kay Hatcher both voted “Yes.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


33 Comments
  1. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:00 pm:

    Some people still believe in the “if you don’t talk about, kids won’t do it” method of sex ed. I remember working for an AIDS service agency that provided sex ed in schools and being asked by funders on the North Shore “How does this relate to my children?”

    Well, if they’re going through puberty and out of your sight for any period of time, it relates to your kids. Sheesh

    And another woman once said “My grandson’s only 15. He has a few more years before he needs to hear this information.” No, lady, if he hasn’t yet, it may already be too late.


  2. - IFI Spokesman - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:07 pm:

    I am against comprehensive sex ed because I am against condoms. Having sex with a condom makes as much sense as showering with yours socks on.


  3. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:14 pm:

    The high school where I taught for the last 20 years of my career teaches sex education as part of the health curriculum. Parents who did not want their child to have this section of the curriculum could have their child opt out. Students who opted out did projects on other topics. More than one girl who opted out had a baby before they graduated.

    Students DO need sex ed before 15! Every year we had a freshman female or two start school who were already pregnant. Doctors will tell you that there are complications for mother and baby when girls that young have a baby.


  4. - anon - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    Rep. Morrison is having quite a week.


  5. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    And the wing nuts wonder they cannot convince/dupe more to follow them
    Fire, Aim, Ready!


  6. - B. Hicks - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    The Illinois Family Institute makes it easy for me, If they’re against it, I’m for it.


  7. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    I can’t imagine what an idiot I’d be if I didn’t have sex ed starting in the fifth grade. It was as simple as a couple of talks and a couple of pamphlets about a boys body and the changes that happen to it. Each year it got ramped up a bit to include what happens to female bodies, the dangers of sex and infections, pregnancy, and generally knowing about what can make you a healthy individual. There was no brainwashing to make me sexually active and there was the frequent mention of abstinence as the preventative technique to avoiding many sexual ills. Why people want to their children to grow up in a world of ignorance, misinformation, and no guidance is beyond me.


  8. - Amalia - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    reproductive system….it’s biology folks. ooops, I forgot. some people hate science.


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    We can’t afford to fund our schools adequately according to the Governor and many legislators so let’s just add more State mandates and spend our time in ridiculous debates rather than concentrating on the budget/pension crisis. Maybe we should mandate a course on “Developing Priorities” for our State legislature.


  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:44 pm:

    Anon, Approp hearings have been held for weeks. Several pension votes so far.


  11. - Huh? - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:47 pm:

    For once I am glad that my daughters are out of high school.

    This is an idea so stupid that only an intellectual could have thought of it.


  12. - SG8prl - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 12:54 pm:

    @Anonymous Since we already have sex ed in schools, I don’t see how this is more of an unfunded mandate. If you meant that there should be more of a focus on doing something to help the state’s financial situation, wouldn’t the decrease in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases help in the long run?


  13. - reformer - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:00 pm:

    When it comes to concealed carry, Rep. Lilly insists upon local control, as evidenced by her vote yesterday for the Cassidy amendment to HB 831. Lilly isn’t the only one who venerates local control on guns, but not on what kind of sex ed is taught in local schools.

    Every single House member who voted for the Cassidy amendment to protect local control on guns also voted for the Lilly sex ed bill. I guess local control matters on some issues, but not when it’s inconvenient.


  14. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    reformer, you apparently don’t see the irony in your comment. Did you not notice that those arguing for “local control” on this bill also argued against “local control” on the failed concealed carry bill yesterday?


  15. - dave - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:08 pm:

    Further…this bill DOES allow local control — school districts can opt out of teaching sex Ed if they so choose.

    FWIW, if we need a concealed carry bill, I am all for local municipalities being able to opt out of issuing concealed carry permits.


  16. - geronimo - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    Sigh

    The real sadness here is that teachers have to teach kids about sexuality and it’s issues, self respect and life decisions. For all those opposed to Sex Ed in schools, are you, as parents talking with your kids? Since it’s such a value loaded topic, the best teachers on this matter are parents. As I said, it’s sad that some institution has to do the job. And, as most things taught in school, there will never be a right way to do it.


  17. - geronimo - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    Right way to do it……….for somebody…… is what I meant to say.


  18. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    I’d like to see a bill that requires kids learn to balance a checkbook and learn an employable skill.


  19. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:27 pm:

    –reformer, you apparently don’t see the irony in your comment. Did you not notice that those arguing for “local control” on this bill also argued against “local control” on the failed concealed carry bill yesterday?–

    Dang it, you took my thunder, I was wanting to point out the same exact thing.

    Maybe not entirely on the subject, a lot of these right wing legislators also want to prohibit women from having abortion and don’t want the state providing birth control, meanwhile studies have shown access to birth control reduces abortion. See http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/24334.aspx

    To the subject, kids should be comprehensive sexual education for the follow reasons.

    1. It helps teach children about sexual abuse and ways to tell someone.

    2. It could help keep them from getting pregnant or an STD, both of which can be life altering.

    3. It helps educate children about their own bodies.

    People who believe in abstinence only education might as well believe in unicorns, it’s the same line of thinking. Purposefully not educating our children and not giving them the tools they need to make good decisions is almost abusive.


  20. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    - I’d like to see a bill that requires kids learn to balance a checkbook and learn an employable skill. -

    Why doesn’t your man Dillard sponsor one? I’m not sure how to enforce learning an employable skill, but I think requiring a financial literacy course would be just fine.

    Runs a little contrary to your issue with state mandates, but I won’t hold that against you.

    There’s actually a pretty cool organization called moneythink that started right here in Chicago, their goal is to teach financial literacy to young people. Check them out:

    http://moneythink.org/


  21. - Wensicia - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    I think they should get rid of the “sex education” label and call it “life skills for teens and adults” or something like that. People assume you’re teaching their children to have sex, it’s impossible to convince them otherwise.


  22. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    How ’bout calling the class “Actions and Consequences”? The kind that you get to raise for twenty or so years? The mistakes you make in your late teens and early twenties can complicate the rest of your life, whether you get in trouble with the law, make poor career choices, or become a too young parent….


  23. - Aldyth - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:44 pm:

    Get sex ed out of the schools and back on the streets where it belongs.

    Sheesh. It hasn’t been 1950 in 60 years. You can teach kids safe sex or they can learn the unsafe kind on their own. Anything else is denial of a very harsh reality.


  24. - geronimo - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 1:56 pm:

    Balancing a checkbook is taught in a mandatory class for graduation in our district…Consumer Ed. Lots of life skills taught in this class. But the question remains……….how do you get to be 17 or 18 and no one in your house talks about money—management, saving, spending, just like my comment above re sexuality. No one talks to their kids? Yet they don’t want “strangers” talking to them about such personal issues either. Can’t win.


  25. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    Sex education doesn’t cause sex. That’s a ludicrous argument. Now, I don’t particulary want my child taught sex ed at school. I can do that myself. But to try and link sex ed to causing sex is ridiculous. And the abortion thing is beyond dumb. These IFI people really take the cake.


  26. - Deep South - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:19 pm:

    ===But a healthy skepticism doesn’t include bizarre conspiracy theories, red herrings and false statements.===

    Have you been reading what some people have to say about who’s behind the Boston bombings, the Ricin incidents, the explosion in Texas, etc? (Hint: he’s a former Illinois state senator) It would hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.


  27. - reformer - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 3:42 pm:

    I agree that both liberals and conservatives invoke local control only when convenient, and otherwise discard it. The principle involved is not local control, it’s whatever works for each issue, even if it means opposing local control on guns and defending local control on sex ed, and vice versa.


  28. - L.S. - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    That Morrison is willing to get on record suggesting that Planned Parenthood is has a financial interest in more unwanted pregnancies says more about him being a ghoul than the abortion providers.


  29. - Say it ain't so! - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:25 pm:

    How is it that the people that say that guns don’t kill, think that sex education causes sex?


  30. - MrJM - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 4:28 pm:

    Sex education will inevitably lead to more abortions in exactly the same way that driver’s education inevitably leads to more traffic accidents.

    – MrJM


  31. - mokenavince - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 5:06 pm:

    I feel that most parents don’t inform the children about sex. Learning on the street really is a silly way to do things. Unplanned parent hood
    just leads to babies having babies.

    What kind of society wants baby daddies and not fathers. My age is showing.


  32. - Lycurgus - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 5:18 pm:

    what was the point of this bill? really.


  33. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Apr 18, 13 @ 5:36 pm:

    Sheez…they really need to chill out. Over a third of the States already have a law on this matter, and Illinois’ version has been referenced as the strictest in the Nation yet!!!


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