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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

IL State Rep. Wilhour: "This is not what kids should be learning in the classroom"

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Illinois State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Effingham) discussed his opposition to Senate Bill 818 in an interview with the South Central Reporter.

"This is not what kids should be learning in the classroom," Wilhour told the South Central Reporter. "Schools should be focused on math, reading, history and science, and the basic information kids need to learn to advance to the next level. The feedback I get is overwhelmingly against the National Sex Education Standards (NSES). The parents I talk to are appalled that what is essentially pornography would be taught in school classrooms."

Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) signed Senate Bill 818 into law on Aug. 20, 2021, requiring all sexual education classes taught in K-12 schools to align 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 told on the day of the bill's signing.

Breakthrough Ideas with Jeanne Ives reported that the NSES includes teaching children in from kindergarten to second grade 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 three through five could learn about masturbation, hormonal development, hormone blockers, the differences in gender identities and how said identities differ from sexual orientation.

Children in grades six through eight would learn how to define oral, anal and vaginal sex, and will be taught how to identify 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," as well as about the differences between sex assigned at birth, gender identity and gender expression.

Those opposed to SB 818 feel that giving children such an in-depth sexual education imposes on parents' rights regarding what they want their children to learn. Many also feel that the new curriculum is unnecessary when many Illinois students fail to achieve grades expected by basic educational standards.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that less than 20% of Chicago third-graders can read or do math at grade-level proficiency. In addition, Wirepoints reported that only 38% of overall Illinois students can read at grade level.

"Right now, there are 520 school districts that have opted out of the National Sex Education Standards, and hopefully more follow," Wilhour said. "Parents, especially the parents in my district, are getting engaged and demanding their local school boards take immediate action and opt out."

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