Starting next school year, schools in Illinois teaching sexual education lessons will start as early as kindergarten.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed Senate Bill 818, which his office said will modernize sex education standards with age-appropriate content for grades K-12.
The measure requires the Illinois State Board of Education to provide the standards for schools that teach sex education by August 2022. Schools don’t need to adopt the standards unless they teach sex ed. Parents will be able to opt their children out.
The law states the curriculum will align with and be updated alongside the National Sex Education Standards. Those standards are cultivated in part by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, or SIECUS. That group has the tag line “Sex Ed for Social Change.”
Among the standards for grades K-2 are defining gender expression, different kinds of families and types of sexual abuse. Grades 3-5 go into anatomy, gender identity and sexual orientation. Grades 6-8 will learn about different types of sex, different types of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Grade 9-10 will learn about the history of “reproductive justice.” Grades 11-12 will learn about power and privilege within sexual relationships.