State Senator Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) has released the following statement regarding the Senate passage of SB 818 – a sex education program for K-12 schools:
“I am disgusted and appalled by the action taken on Senate Bill 818 in our legislature yesterday. The hyper-partisan Majority failed again by using their power to pass an extreme piece of legislation requiring an all-or-nothing curriculum for sex education in schools. Students in the 2nd grade may soon be required to identify consent, gender identity, and reproduction, while 4th and 5th graders would have to define different types of sex. The bill is obscene and fails to align with community standards. I call on my colleagues in the House of Representatives to strongly look at this bill, created by activist organizations that don’t care about active parental consent or strong families, and to do justice for all students in our state and vote no.”
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE BILL:
On May 20, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 818, a controversial education bill that would rewrite existing state standards for sex education in grades K-12.
The legislation would significantly limit local control over sexual education by requiring school districts to either teach the new standards as written or nothing at all.
These standards were formulated by advocacy groups from outside of the state, many of which are considered divisive.
Some of the contentious provisions that can be found in Senate Bill 818 include:
- Requiring kindergarten students to be taught about consent;
- Requiring second-grade students to define consent, reproduction, and gender identity, as well as identify different types of families, including cohabitating and same-gender;
- By fifth grade, students would be required to describe the role of hormone blockers, to distinguish between the sex assigned at birth and gender identity, define and explain differences between cisgender, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender expansive, and gender identity, and to be able to articulate that gender expression and identity exist along a spectrum;
- Language that deemphasizes that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent STIs and pregnancy; and
- Requiring course materials to include local resources for reproductive health (including abortion providers), and prohibiting any instruction or materials in the classroom, including guest lectures, which might conflict with the provisions of the bill.
The legislation now heads to the Illinois House of Representatives for further consideration.