Pritzker signs controversial sex education standards

Sen. Bryant: These standards have no place in public education 

State Senator Terri Bryant releases the following statement in response to Governor Pritzker’s signing of Senate Bill 818, a K-12 sex education bill developed by special interest groups mandating that schools use radical sex education standards when teaching sex education.

“As a mother and grandmother, I am deeply disturbed and saddened to know that our young children will be taking in such inappropriate information. These standards go well beyond medically accurate teachings and should have no place in our public education system. What’s even more concerning is that it’s all or nothing. If a school decides these standards go too far, they can’t teach sex education at all, leaving children even more uniformed and unprotected. The Governor’s actions on this bill signal one thing:  he doesn’t care about parents and what they know is best for their children.”

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.

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