Sex ed program not changing at District 204 schools despite new state law, Indian Prairie officials stress – Chicago Tribune
Indian Prairie School District 204 officials emphasized this week that they will be keeping the district’s existing sex education policies rather than switching to the ones adopted by the state.
A presentation reaffirming their program was presented at the D204 School Board meeting Monday by Assistant Superintendent Doug Eccarius, who said there are no changes planned because they’re awaiting more information from state officials on the recently passed law, which has been controversial.
“There has been a lot of buzz around this topic,” Eccarius said. “The mandate seems to be somewhat vague to us. We are just trying to get clarification on it.”
He added that the district is trying to determine what mandates must be implemented and how to do that among grade levels.
Despite passage of the new Illinois law, there is a provision that allows districts to opt out of teaching sex education completely, which makes things even more confusing, he said.
The current district program is for grade five to receive one day of instruction on topics covering anatomy and physiology, puberty, reproduction and pregnancy. Grades six to grade eight receive one week of sexual education, including gender identity and expression and sexual orientation.
Most high school students receive three weeks of sex education covering all topics in depth.
School Board member Susan Demming said parents make the final decision.
“Parents have the opportunity to opt-out of any particular (topics),” she said.
Critics of the new state law say the rules go beyond simple biology and get into topics like gender identity that some parents don’t want taught in school.
Joseph Ruzich is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.