Vast Majority of Illinois School Districts Have Opted Out of Radical Sex Ed Standards

The grassroots website Awake-Illinois is reporting that only 23 of 860 school districts in the state have decided to adopt radical sex education standards, based on a national model, while 536 districts have thus far opted out.

Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) signed SB 818 into law in August 2021, with his office claiming the standards are “voluntary” and will “emphasize health, safety, and inclusivity with age-appropriate resources.”

“School districts do not have to adopt the voluntary standards unless they are teaching comprehensive sexual health education, and parents can choose to opt out,” the statement from the governor’s office said.

Awake-Illinois’ list of schools and districts that have opted out of the standards for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year is reportedly updated daily and can be found here.

To date, of 860 school districts, 536 say they are opting out of the sex ed standards, 45 are “waiting,” 256 have not responded, and 23 have decided to fully adopt them.

According to the standards, children in grades K-2 must be able to “define gender, gender identity and gender-role stereotypes,” and “discuss the range of ways people express their gender and how gender-role stereotypes may limit behavior.”

Children in grade 3 must learn to “distinguish between sex assigned at birth and gender identity and explain how they may or may not differ;” “define and explain differences between cisgender, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender expansive, and gender identity;” and “explain that gender expression and gender identity exist along a spectrum.”

The national sex ed standards are backed by Planned Parenthood, the second largest provider of transgender hormone treatments in the nation, Advocates for Youth, and Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), which have all been collaborating with LGBTQ activist organizations for years to create the radical education program.

As The Star News Network reported in April, the Evanston-Skokie School District 65 is one school district that has adopted the standards that will teach children as young as 4 years old to celebrate the transgender pride flag and try on different pronouns. The standards also instruct that the “gender binary” system (male and female sex) was created by white “colonizers” and must be broken.

Curriculum documents for the Evanston-Skokie School District, including lesson plans, can be viewed here.

Education researcher and author Christopher Rufo reviewed the Evanston-Skokie lesson plans on social media:

Rufo observed at City Journal that third-graders in the school district are taught that “white European ‘colonizers’ imposed their ‘Western and Christian ideological framework’ on racial minorities and ‘forced two-spirit people to conform to the gender binary.’”

Rufo added:

The teacher tells students that “many people feel like they aren’t really a boy or a girl” and that they should “call people by the gender they have in their heart.” Students are encouraged to “break the binary,” reject the system of “whiteness,” and study photographs of black men in dresses and a man wearing lipstick and long earrings. “It is a myth that gender is binary,” the lesson explains. “Even though we are all given a sex assigned at birth, you are NOT given your gender. Only you can know your gender and how you feel inside.” At the end of the lesson, students are instructed to write a letter to the future on how they can change society. “Society right now is very unfair,” reads a sample letter. “I see a lot of marches on the T.V and I even went to a march last summer.”

“Queer theory has made its way into public school curriculums for children as young as four,” Rufo wrote. “This development should be subject to robust political debate, not denial and dismissal from the political Left.”

Illinois Family Institute objected to the passage of the sex ed standards.

Awake-Illinois, launched by parents and citizens in May 2021, chartered its first chapter in Naperville and has since expanded throughout the state.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].

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