Illinois House OKs sex education lessons on consent in schools

SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) — The Illinois House wants schools that teach sex ed in Illinois to teach that “no” means “no.”

The House recently approved a new mandate for consent lessons.

State Rep. Anne Williams said school is the perfect place to talk about dating.

“We need to arm our students with the tools to understand consent,’ Williams said on the floor of the House. “To understand what it means [and] to understand and establish healthy and safe relationships.”

Opponents said parents should do that, and they worried about the state adding another requirement for local schools. School districts are governed by locally elected boards.

Williams said her requirement would also fill in the gaps in what’s being taught in schools.

“Under current law, consent is mentioned, but [a] definition is really provided,” Williams said. “And nowhere in current law does it address the inability to consent when it comes to people in the position of power and authority.”

Just six lawmakers voted against the bill. The Illinois Senate will take up the plan next.

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