Op-Ed: Parents must speak out against
harmful National Sex Education Standards the Pritzker Administration is
imposing on local schools
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
instruction begins, school officials are advised to “Review and become familiar
with the National Sex Education Standards.”
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This begs the question – what are the National Sex Education Standards all
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 curriculum when so many of our students are not meeting
basic standards of learning.
According to the most recent Illinois Assessment of Readiness text 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