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Republican candidate for the Illinois House Patrick Brouillette voiced his disapproval of Senate Bill 818 in an interview with North Cook News.
"Teaching young children explicit sexual content is immoral, unethical and is outright disgusting," Brouillette said. "Sex education should be left up to the PARENTS. At best, basic anatomy can be taught at a junior high to high school level. But that is not what we are talking about here."
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed SB 818 into law on Aug. 20, 2021. It requires sexual education classes in K-12 schools to align their curriculum with the National Sex Education 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," Pritzker said in an August 2021 press release.
"Parents that I speak to are disgusted by the sexualization of our children in schools. Even Democrat and moderate parents are pulling their kids out of school entirely. They see it first-hand. Most have no idea about the standards being pushed down," Brouillette said. "I fully support school districts who have opted out."
According to Breakthrough Ideas, the NSES includes teaching children in grades K-2 how to define gender, gender identity and gender-role stereotypes, as well as the medically accurate terms for body parts, including genitals. Children in grades 3-5 will learn about masturbation, hormonal development, hormone blockers, the differences in gender identities and how they differ from sexual orientation. Children in grades 6-8 will learn how to define, oral, anal and vaginal sex, and will learn about four or more methods of contraception that don't require a prescription, such as condoms and emergency contraception. High school students will learn about "reproductive justice" and the differences between sex assigned at birth, gender identity and gender expression.
Those opposed to SB 818 feel that it's wrong to give children such a detailed sex ed curriculum when many Illinois students fail to achieve grades expected by basic educational standards. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that less than 20% of Chicago third-graders can read or do math at grade-level proficiency. Furthermore, Wirepoints reports that only 38% of Illinois students can read at grade level.