SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — An Illinois lawmaker wants to mandate schools teach students about personal health.
Sen. Ram Villivalam (D) of the 8th District (Chicago), introduced SB2762, also known as the “REACH Act,” in February.
The legislation would require all K-12 public schools to offer a comprehensive and age-appropriate course on personal heath and public safety.
Villivalam’s office says the program would be phased in slowly, thus granting schools a smooth orderly transition to the new curriculum.
The Responsible Education for Adolescent and Children’s Health (REACH) Act lays out the following curricular changes:
- In grades K-2, instruction would focus on personal safety, identifying trusted adults who children can rely on for guidance and support, and respecting others.
- In grades 3-5, instruction would expand to discuss bullying, harassment, and abuse and to cover topics such as anatomy, puberty, hygiene, body image, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
- In grades 6-12, instruction would build on prior topics and begin covering issues like consent, sexual harassment, abuse, and inter-personal violence, and cover the benefits of abstinence, behavioral changes, and barrier methods like condoms, medication, contraception, and sexually transmitted infection prevention measures.
“In recent years, the news has been filled with reporting on child sex abuse scandals, sexual harassment in the workplace, sexual assault on college campuses, and bullying of LGBTQ students and people of color,” said Senator Villivalam (D-8). “There is urgency to act now to ensure all students in Illinois receive the age-appropriate education necessary to be safe and healthy. Senate Bill 2762 will do just that.”
If passed, the legislation would make Illinois the 30th state to mandate sex education.
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