By State Representative Adam Niemerg, Illinois Freedom Caucus member
With only the bare minimum number of votes to pass a bill in the Illinois House, the Legislature approved the controversial National Sex Education Standards as the basis for all sex education classes in Illinois.
The legislation has now become law and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has filed new rules with the Secretary of State on the adoption of the National Sex Education Standards. As part of the checklist of things to do before instructions begins, school officials are advised to “Review and become familiar with the National Sex Education Standards.”
This begs the question – what are the National Sex Education Standards all about?
According to the National Sex Education Standards, one of the learning goals for kids beginning in kindergarten is to “Define Consent,” and “Define gender, gender identity, and gender-role stereotypes.”
Kids in the third grade are expected to be able to, “Explain common human sexual development and the role of hormones (e.g., romantic, and sexual feelings, masturbation, mood swings, timing of pubertal onset).”
Another goal for third through fifth graders is to be able to, “Describe the role hormones play in the physical, social, cognitive, and emotional changes during adolescence and the potential role of hormone blockers on young people who identify as transgender.”
The standards also expect sixth through eighth graders to be able to, “Define vaginal, oral, and anal sex.”
In other words, the National Sex Education Standards go far beyond biology and seek to teach kids at young ages material that is clearly not age-appropriate.
The good news is Illinois schools are not required to teach sex education and can opt out of teaching these obscene sex education standards. Local school boards have the authority to establish their own curriculum guidelines and do not have to comply with these standards because there is no law requiring schools to teach sex education in the first place.
I have been sounding the alarm and urging parents to get involved and stop this curriculum from taking hold in their local schools and numerous districts across the state are opting out.
These parents are asking questions about how schools can justify teaching radical sex education curricula when so many of our students are not meeting basic standards of learning.
According to the most recent Illinois Assessment of Readiness test scores, fewer than one in five Chicago third graders met or exceeded Illinois’ education standards in reading and math. And it is not just Chicago with low test scores. School districts across the state are having similar problems.
The focus in our schools should be on giving children the building blocks they need to learn. Our kids should learn how to read, write, add, subtract, and have a basic understanding of science and history. It is not the job of schools to teach graphic sexual content especially when our kids are not meeting our state’s basic standards of learning.
My colleagues and I tried to stop the National Sex Education Standards from becoming a part of our school curriculum, but we fell just short of defeating this legislation. Now, the battle is in the hands of Illinois families and local school boards. It is a battle we can and will win as long as parents stay engaged.