Controversial K-12 Sexual Education Legislation Heads to Governor after Partisan Vote – Reps. Severin, Windhorst, and Jacobs Vote No

SPRINGFIELD – Southern Illinois Republican House members voted in opposition to a controversial bill they say will lead schools to teach age-inappropriate sexual education curriculum.

State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) says he opposed the bill in Committee and was disturbed by what he saw in some instructional materials that are in-line with the Federal sex-ed curriculum standards.

“I objected to several of the provisions included in SB 818, among them being the requirement that schools that do not teach a specific curriculum would be barred from teaching any sexual education at all,” Severin said. “The images, themes, and content that I have seen materials that would be aimed at children as young as kindergarten is not age-appropriate.”

State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) objected, among other things, to the State of Illinois to removing the element of local control from schools.

“SB 818 moves the current minimum age for mandated sexual education from sixth grade to Kindergarten, and goes as far as prohibiting any instruction or materials in the classroom which might conflict with the Federal sexual education standards,” Windhorst said. “By passing this legislation, the State of Illinois is interfering in a process I believe is best left to parents and local education officials.”

State Rep. Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona) says he has received overwhelmingly negative comments from concerned parents, teachers, and school officials.

“From what I heard from my constituents, and based on what I learned about the bill, SB 818 just goes too far,” Jacobs said. “I am strongly opposed to exposing our youngest, most impressionable students to themes, ideas, and philosophies on sexuality and gender that may be in conflict with their upbringing, their religious beliefs, or the wishes of their parents. The material suggested in the Federal sex education standards are not age-appropriate in my view and this legislation takes away all local control.”

Having passed the House and Senate, SB 818 will be sent to the Governor. To call Governor Pritzker and urge him to veto SB 818, please call 217-782-6830 or 217-782-6831.