Sex ed bill clears state Senate

SPRINGFIELD — A sex education measure that Republicans asserted was anti-local control and would promote birth control rather than abstinence-only cleared the Illinois Senate on a nearly party-line vote Wednesday.

House Bill 2675 was approved 37-21 with only one Republican voting yes, and three Democrats voting no. Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, voted for the measure, and all area Republicans — Chapin Rose of Mahomet, Dale Righter of Mattoon, and Jason Barickman and Bill Brady of Bloomington voted no.

The bill says that sex education curriculums for grades 6 through 12 in public schools would have to be medically accurate and age appropriate, and that the Illinois State Board of Education would make available resource materials and may take into consideration materials from other states as well as "materials suggested by education experts and other groups that work on sex education issues."

Sen. Michael Connelly, R-Naperville, argued that parents and local officials, not the Legislature, should determine how human sexuality is taught.

"I have a cellphone in my pocket. If the Naperville school board members are going to be educating our kids in a way that I think is inappropriate, I call them or I have them removed in the next election," he said. "That's called local control."

Supporters said that the sex education curriculums would continue to say that abstinence from sexual intercourse "is a responsible and positive decision," but that it also would include instruction in contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Righter said "that in order to follow state law," local school districts will have to have sex education programs "talk about condoms, IUDs, the pill. They're going to have to talk about contraception."

But Planned Parenthood of Illinois praised passage of the bill.

"Studies show that sex education that (includes) contraception and disease prevention results in teens who are more likely to delay sexual activity and use protection when sexual activity does occur," said Carole Brite, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. "This bill is a huge step forward in advancing the health and safety of young people in Illinois — while they are teenagers and throughout their adult lives."

The legislation also gives school districts the option of not providing any sex education program.

Sections (2):News, Local

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

Orbiter wrote on May 23, 2013 at 12:05 am

"Republicans asserted... would promote birth control rather than abstinence-only cleared the Illinois Senate..."

Excellent.  In addition to the factual biological information, birth control is EXACTLY what should be promoted.  Abstinence-only is an ignorant and ineffective approach.  

And it's never too early to teach this material.

awilson wrote on May 23, 2013 at 2:05 am

You're right!  Let's teach 3 year old kids where to stick their sexual organs. Sit up straight.  You're gonna fall out of your chair on that left shoulder of yours.  Geez!

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 23, 2013 at 3:05 am
Profile Picture

Actually, I don't believe three year olds will be taught any of that.  The sex ed will be for middle school and high school students.  Nice extreme hyperbole though.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on May 23, 2013 at 6:05 am
Profile Picture

What kind of drills will students be required to practice once gay marriage is legal?

awilson wrote on May 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Thanks for not paying attention to the fact that I was replying to the previous comment.  I love being attacked as being extreme when my comment was, actually, referring to someone else being extreme.  How intelligent of you to attack without paying attention.  I realize they won't be teaching this to 3 year olds.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm
Profile Picture

How intelligent of you to not notice or use the reply button under the comment you were replying to, thus leaving no indication that you were replying to the previous comment instead of the article in general.

See how my comment here indents to the right, as to clearly indicate that I am replying to your comment and not on the article itself?

awilson wrote on May 24, 2013 at 12:05 am

I did hit the reply button and am very familiar with how the indent function works.  Unfortunately, the news gazette designed their website in a way that causes a reply to not always end up as a reply if you're using the mobiles site and aren't logged in initially when you hit reply.  That's not an indication of my intelligence but a lack of proper design by News Gazette's staff.  Now....if you take the time to read my initial response, it's obvious that I was referring to the post before mine.  Unless, that is, your need to attack people clouds your ability to reason.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on May 23, 2013 at 3:05 am
Profile Picture

It's too bad so many Republican legislators' parents didn't know about contraception.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 23, 2013 at 3:05 am
Profile Picture

"Righter said "that in order to follow state law," local school districts will have to have sex education programs "talk about condoms, IUDs, the pill. They're going to have to talk about contraception.""

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!

Why can't everyone be as informed as Dale Righter?  He and the other folks who voted against this bill know the truth...abstinence only education WORKS!  If you just tell teenagers that sex is immoral and that they should never do it, end of question...they will do exactly as you tell them.  That's what teenagers do....obey instructions unquestioningly.

Orbiter wrote on May 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm

"MISTER Babcock: Knowledge is POWER!"

Danno wrote on May 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Gee, Sen Connelly; Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative; Must be nice to have a cell phone in your pocket. Should something cross your path that you find 'inappropriate', you can simply call to have them 'removed from the next election.' Yeah, I too, would call that 'local control.' Given the level of what is called 'voter apathy' and, the ratio of voters that actually come to their own objective voting reasoning, to those that listen to pop culture sound bites...seemingly, the idjit's keep getting re-elected. Guess I need a 'Smart Phone' to replace my 'dumb phone'. Got a toll free phone# to get me upgraded, on the gov't dole? Thx!