By GREG BISHOP
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – An Illinois parents’ rights group is advocating for parents to opt their children out of controversial sex ed courses.
Awake Illinois founder Shannon Adcock said with the signing of Senate Bill 818 last year, Illinois became the first state to align sex ed standards with a national group’s curriculum.
“When you look at the breakdown of the K-12 guidelines in the standards, they’re far more in my opinion graphic and worrisome,” Ms. Adcock told The Center Square.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 818 last year that aligns the state’s sex ed standards with the National Sex Education Standards. If a district teaches sex ed, they have to follow the standards.
“Modernizing our sex education standards will help keep our children safe and ensure important lessons like consent and internet safety are taught in classrooms,” Gov. Pritzker said after signing the bill last year. “By working together, we’ll continue to strengthen our education system and deliver the bright future our kids deserve.”
Supporters of the updated standards say the breakdown per grade level is age appropriate and important to educate children about the issues.
“No student should feel stigmatized or excluded in the classroom,” state Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, said last year. “This legislation puts forth guidelines for an inclusive, culturally competent curriculum to keep students safe and healthy.”
Ms. Adcock disagreed and said it’s an activist-based curriculum.
“The wording that they use is they want to promote social and cultural change through sex education,” Ms. Adcock said.
Parents can opt out.
“Why are we going to implement this super perverted form of comprehensive sex ed,” Ms. Adcock said. “Teachers and parents have a lot of other priorities beyond teaching kindergartners about sis gender and their pronouns. They need to learn how to read. They need to learn how to write. They need to be with their peers.”
Ms. Adcock has the website awakeil.com/optout with more information.
It’s expected the Illinois State Board of Education will finalize the standards sometime next month.