Legislation in IL: School Standards for Sex Education and Life-Threatening Allergies

Publisher: Alex Hylka

Image shows a graphic novel open to page where a student tries to share a cookie, but the offer is declined due to an allergy. Also in the image are school snacks with listed allergens.

Recently, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation that updates the state’s standards for sex education in K-12 schools. The voluntary standards will emphasize health, safety, and inclusivity with age-appropriate resources. Additionally, the Governor signed legislation to address safety measures for children with life-threatening allergies.

Image features the graphic novel, “Allergic” By Megan Lloyd and common school snack labels with listed allergens.

Legislation SB818

First, SB818 updates Illinois’ sexual health education by adding “new personal health and safety education standards in kindergarten through 5th grade, and making comprehensive health education more inclusive in grades 6 through 12. 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 Intelligencer)

Legislation HB24

Next, HB24 requires classes that teach sex education to include an age-appropriate discussion regarding sexting, like:

  • information regarding the possible consequences of sharing or forwarding sexually explicit or suggestive content
  • identification of situations in which bullying or harassment may result as a consequence of sexting
  • potential for long-term legal, social, academic, and other consequences from  possessing sexual content
  • importance of internet safety
  • identification of people who could be of assistance on this issue to students
  • development of strategies to resist peer pressure

“Modernizing our sex education standards will help keep our children safe and ensure important lessons like consent and internet safety are taught in classrooms,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “By working together, we’ll continue to strengthen our education system and deliver the bright future our kids deserve.” (The Intelligencer)

Legislation HB102

Additionally, Governor Pritzker signed legislation that creates further safety measures for students with life-threatening allergies. The Childhood Anaphylactic Policy, HB102, provides guidance on anaphylactic reactions. Also, the legislation requires the IDPH to create anaphylaxis policies and procedures for school districts and daycares. In the coming months, the information will be available on the IDPH website. Furthermore, the department will provide applicable infomation to each school district, charter school, and day care center. The institutions must communicate the policies annually to parents. Moving forward, the IDPH will update the polices every three years with the partnership of specialists. (Allergic Living) Read the full press release from the Governor’s office.

ICOY continues to monitor state and federal policies that affect children, youth, and families. Find out more information on our Policy & Advocacy work.