Sweeping sex-ed changes proposed for public schools

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, On May 28, with the bare minimum of 60 votes required, the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill (SB) 818, simply titled “AN ACT concerning education.” The governor has promised to sign this bill into law. In essence, Section 27-9.1a of the legislation establishes what it calls “comprehensive personal health and safety and comprehensive sexual health education.” Legislators inserted language into this bill for which they could not get sufficient support to pass as independent legislation, formerly known as House Bill 1736, “the Reach Act.” The text of the bill can be read at thelc.ms/ill-legislation-reach.

SB 818 mandates that sex education be taught to children beginning in kindergarten. A non-governmental consortium of three organizations developed the National Sexuality Education Standards. Illinois schools by law must comply with these standards if they are teaching sex education to their students.

Websites of the developers of the National Sexuality Education Standards are:

▶ SIECUS (Sex Ed for Social Change) — siecus.org

▶ Advocates of Youth — advocatesforyouth.org

▶ Answer — answer.rutgers.edu

By law the curriculum must align with the National Sexuality Education Standards: thelc.ms/national-sex- ed-standards. The standards cover not just anatomy, physiology and sexual development, but they also teach on sexual desire, sex outside of marriage, birth control, abortion, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, which conflicts with the will our Lord and our Christian faith.

SB 818 is an initiative of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, ACLU of Illinois, Rainbow Café LGBTQ center, Peoria Proud and other LGBTQ+ organizations.

There is some good news:

1. Public schools can choose to opt out, and;

2. If a public school board adopts the curriculum, parents or guardians can opt out their children.

It is essential that public school boards are addressed and strongly encouraged to opt out. Due to the graphic nature of this information, you’re welcome to contact me for additional resources that may be helpful when speaking with your public school board.

This bill has enormous implications for the life of the church and the future of our families, children and neighborhoods. Go with a good conscience in Jesus to your school boards, prayerfully commending the matter to the Lord.

Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Ps. 82:4

Monica Shannon

District Life Coordinator