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Mandatory K-12 sex education bill advances in state House

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An Illinois House committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would mandate all public school districts in the state provide a comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum on sex education, sexual abuse awareness and healthy relationships for all grades, K-12.

Illinois currently has a law that leaves the option of teaching sex education up to the discretion of local school districts, but House Bill 1736, dubbed the Responsible Education for Adolescents and Children, or REACH Act, would make it mandatory.

“This whole idea came about because students were reaching out and asking for this in their curriculum,” Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, the bill’s chief sponsor, said during a virtual hearing. “There are many schools that do not have this, and that is one of the most important things and one of the reasons I jumped on board.”

Willis said the bill calls for developing three curriculums. For students in kindergarten through 2nd grade, it would focus on personal safety, identifying trusted adults and respecting others. For grades 3-5, it would focus on personal safety and […]

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