Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Bill advances to require schools to teach sex health class for grades 6-12, but kids and parents can opt out
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Bill advances to require schools to teach sex health class for grades 6-12, but kids and parents can opt out

Friday, Jan 6, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The proposal allows students to opt out: “No student shall be required to take or participate in any class or course in comprehensive personal health and safety and comprehensive sexual health education”…

* I reached out to sponsoring Sen. Ram Villavallum…

It’s requiring age and developmentally appropriate, medically accurate personal health and safety education for K-5 and age and developmentally appropriate, medically accurate sex health education for 6-12.

When 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience child sexual abuse at some point in their childhood, what she calls controversial, I call necessary for all of our youth’s safety and health.

The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee on a partisan roll call last night, but Democratic Sen. Linda Holmes expressed concerns during the hearing about another state mandate.


  1. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 11:29 am:

    Sometimes Dems just don’t know when to stop. The crazies are licking their chops now and the Dems want to feed them Filet Mignon.

    Focus on fighting the crazies, not giving them more opportunities to obfuscate and spin conspiracies.

  2. - DTownResident - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 11:46 am:

    This is taught here at the seventh grade level in a semester health class and as part of a 9th grade high school health class. All lessons were also already broken down lesson by lesson and we as parents could opt in or out of all or individual lessons. I am failing to see what is gained here other than stirring up the “kitty litter” crowd again

  3. - Grateful Gail - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 11:59 am:

    My concern with this, is from what I have been reading the only curriculum that can be used is the state approved curriculum. Why this? What comes next? State approved Math curriculum, etc. This takes away more and more control from local school boards, and districts. Yes, families can opt out; At least that is part of the law.

  4. - Wonky Kong - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 12:04 pm:

    The headline is misleading, the bill is k-12, it just calls it “health” for k-5. As part of the 5th grade curriculum, hormone blockers are a required topic. That doesn’t seem like basic health class to me.
    There’s a reason most schools opted out of the previous bill and went with their own class that they just call health, which I imagine is what dtownresident is seeing at their school. If this becomes law it’s going to be dark times for school members who have to deal with the pitchfork mobs. This bill is a bad idea.

  5. - Wonky Kong - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 12:05 pm:

    Meant to say “school board members” not just “school members”

  6. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 12:09 pm:

    ===The headline is misleading===


  7. - DTownResident - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 12:11 pm:

    Our curriculum is more than that. We have an organization called Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center which also teaches age appropriate sexual assault prevention amd in those older grades of 7th and 9th includes topics like what is consent and birth control and how to report if you are assaulted. The parent permission slip broke it down by each lesson Growing Strong was teaching. We could opt out of all or by topic. I cannot remeber the others but this was not “basic health”.

  8. - Shibboleth - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 12:15 pm:

    I appreciate comments rightfully pointing out that this may draw ire, but I still think it’s essential.

    Even looking beyond the statistics cited by Sen. Villivalam, from personal experience of growing up in a rural school district, this is essential.

    My health and sex-ed classes were abstinence-only (with an implication of “until marriage”), only discussed marriage and relationships between a man and a woman, didn’t touch on the nuances of consent beyond a brief mention, and barely even acknowledged the existence of views affirming contraception.

    If more kids in my district learned early on that my relationship isn’t abnormal, I may have been less worried to come out to classmates. If they learned about actual safe-sex, maybe we’d have had less of my classmates drop out because they became pregnant. If they simply learned that puberty blockers exist, maybe my trans friends wouldn’t have spent every day after their health classes dreading changes to their body that they feared would forever make them seem like someone they aren’t.

    To a lot of people, this seems like adding unnecessary minority issues to sex-ed. To those of us wanting to be taught to and about, it’s lifesaving and essential, and it’s how we start getting kids to not bully their LGBTQ+ peers and eventually not join the crazy “kitty litter” crowd.

    Firmly backing this bill. Thank you Sen. Villivalam.

  9. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    Norseman +1

    The legislature needs to simply pass a bill that gives us total control over the upbringing of kids. Instead, the legislate us onto doing things that are parents jobs without any of the authority.

  10. - Foolish Sophist - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    Speaking as a parent, this is great news. Red districts have their share of kids who aren’t cisgender heterosexual, and the choice to give my kids what they need should be mine and my kids’, not a narrow majority of culturally reactionary board members.

    It will upset the right (and, given the cultural right’s abysmal record on child sexual abuse, maybe for more than one reason), but the litter box conspiracy types shouldn’t be able to hold things up by their potential for ill-informed outrage.

  11. - Proud Papa Bear - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 12:38 pm:

    A very important and necessary bill. Sex ed is historically cis- and heteronormative.
    It’s not the kids in progressive areas I’m so concerned about- it’s the ones in non-affirming areas who hear a daily drumbeat about how they’re abnormal.
    It’s time for those in charge to set aside the hassles that come with mandates and do what’s best for the kids. All kids.

  12. - Left of what - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 1:11 pm:

    To those concerned about the kitty litter crowd I would like to genuinely ask why you’re worried. Normal people who don’t spend all day online do not know about that. If that’s where the gop wants to go they’re just going to keep alienating normal people.

  13. - Eyeball - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 1:25 pm:

    So every year there is at least a course on consent and a course on either personal health and safety (k-5) or sexual health (6-12)? And that course is complete and comprehensive. Can ISBE provide an estimate on the number of minutes or days that school districts should spend on these complete and comprehensive courses?

  14. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 1:57 pm:

    I am so glad my children are grown and graduated from college, so we don’t have to worry about these issues.

    My youngest daughter will have to start worrying in a few years when her kids start school.

  15. - Shibboleth - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    =Normal people who don’t spend all day online do not know about that.=

    My very moderate family discussed it over Christmas unfortunately.

  16. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 2:43 pm:

    Fearful humans demand conformity…anything “different” causes them to question there own understanding of themselves…causing more fear unto projected hysteria.

  17. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    There/their is a reason to proof read, Oops.

  18. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 3:46 pm:

    “Normal people who don’t spend all day online do not know about that”.

    Define “normal” or “that”…take your time.

  19. - Naperville parent - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 3:48 pm:

    Our Superintendent in Naperville 203 opposes this amendment. I expect Sen Ellman to agree with him and not vote for this.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===I expect Sen Ellman===

    Or what?

  21. - Naperville parent - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 4:52 pm:

    Or what nothing. I just expect that she will not vote yes for this based on their relationship.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 5:04 pm:

    ===I just expect that she will not vote yes for this based on their relationship.===

    Can this vote be bigger than that?

    It’s a bill in which suburban districts are in flux to far more than the merits, but maybe bigger than a district but you a state?

    I’d ask the Senator.

  23. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 6:48 pm:

    =Can this vote be bigger than that?=

    Could be, or maybe not. Many (I don’t know how many exactly) legislators have go to superintendents that they talk to when it comes to education legislation. That does not mean they listen lockstep to the supts. But they tend to listen at least.

    70% of districts opted out, even progressive districts. That does not mean they do not support LGBTQ kids. There are other ways to be staunch supporters of ALL our students, especially those kids that have been left out or mistreated or targeted for harassment in the past. We insist on respect for everyone. Our students know that our schools do not see LGBTQ kids as anything but normal and deserving of the same respect as any other student.

    This legislation will bring the crazies out. And it is easy to giggle or be cavalier at that prospect. For schools it will be another avoidable nightmare.

  24. - Naperville parent - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 6:55 pm:

    Right. I mean ISBE hasn’t even weighed in. They did this last year on PA102-0543 and now ISBE has asked to delay a year. Legislature needs to hold up and actually speak with agencies and school districts. This doesn’t need to be so rushed.

  25. - Naperville parent - Friday, Jan 6, 23 @ 6:56 pm:

    According to my district superintendent, there has not been any involvement by education groups or other stakeholders (as usual, sigh).

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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