SIECUS Applauds Illinois Lawmakers in Passing Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act
On Friday, August 20, Governor JB Pritzker signed the Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act (IL SB 818), which creates age-appropriate learning standards for public schools that decide to teach comprehensive personal health and safety education (grades K-5) and comprehensive sexual health education (grades 6-12).
The new law will establish age-appropriate learning standards in alignment with the National Sex Education Standards and ensures that instruction is inclusive and affirming of communities who historically have been stigmatized or excluded from such instruction, including youth living with a disability, LGBTQIA youth, pregnant or parenting youth, and survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence. Additionally, the law ensures education must not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Christine Soyong Harley, President and CEO of SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change released the following statement:
“SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change believes that sex education should be accessible, equitable and inclusive. This historic win in Illinois brings the US education system one step closer to ensuring respectful and inclusive education is a standard in public school systems. SIECUS is proud to have partnered with the Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Coalition of Illinois to ensure that young people receive the education they deserve.”
The Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act is supported by a broad statewide coalition of organizations, including AIDS Foundation Chicago, ACLU of Illinois, Equality Illinois, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, American Association of University Women (AAUW) Illinois, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago Abortion Fund, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Chicago Women’s Health Center, Citizen Action/Illinois, Comprehensive Sex Ed Now, Cook County Health, EverThrive Illinois, Healing to Action, Hult Center for Healthy Living, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Illinois National Organization for Women, Illinois Public Health Association, Illinois School Counselor Association, Kenneth Young Center, Lambda Legal, Life Span, McHenry County Citizens for Choice, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, National Association of Social Workers-Illinois Chapter, National Council of Jewish Women Illinois, Peoria Proud, PFLAG Council of Northern Illinois, Prairie Pride Coalition, Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Center, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Resilience, She Votes Illinois, SIECUS, The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence, Uniting Pride of Champaign County, and YWCA Evanston/North Shore.