You Decide: Illinois’ New Sex Ed Standards in K-12 Schools

In August 2021, Governor Pritzker signed two bills into law implementing new mandates on sex education in K-12 schools.

The new standards are modeled from the National Sex Education Standards and developed by progressive groups that require children in grades K-12 to be able to “Define gender, gender identity, and gender-role stereotypes.” Children in 3rd grade will be taught to define and explain the differences between cisgender, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender expansive, and gender identity.”

However, state law does give parents the right to OPT-OUT of having their child be indoctrinated by this politically-driven radical new curriculum:

“No student shall be required to take or participate in any class or course in comprehensive personal health and safety and comprehensive sexual health education. A student’s parent or guardian may opt the student out of comprehensive personal health and safety and comprehensive sexual health education by submitting the request in writing. Refusal to take or participate in such a course or program may not be a reason for disciplinary action, academic penalty, suspension, or expulsion or any other sanction of a student.” (See 105 ILCS 5/27-9.1d)

The new comprehensive sexual health and education standards include:

Grades K-2

  1. Identify different kinds of families (e.g. nuclear, single parent, blended intergenerational, cohabitating, adoptive, foster, same-gender, interracial).
  2. Define gender, gender identity and gender-role stereotypes.
  3. List medically-accurate names for body parts, including the genitals.

Grades 3-5

  1. Explain common human sexual development and the role of hormones (e.g. romantic and sexual feelings, masturbation, mood swings, timing of pubertal onset).
  2. 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.
  3. Define and explain differences between cisgender, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender expansive and gender identity. Explain that gender expression and gender identity exist along a spectrum.
  4. Differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.

Grades 6-8

  1. Define vaginal, oral, and anal sex.
  2. Define sexual identity and explain a range of identities related to sexual orientation (e.g. heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, two spirit, asexual, pansexual).
  3. List at least four methods of contraception that are available without a prescription (e.g. abstinence, condoms, emergency contraception, withdrawal).

Grades 9-12

  1. Differentiate between sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and gender expression.
  2. Identify factors that impact the risk of unintended pregnancy and potential transmission of STD’s, including HIV, from a variety of sexual behaviors, including vaginal, oral, and anal sex.
  3. Define reproductive justice and explain its history and how it relates to sexual health.



Note: These instructions are designed to assist parents/guardians in completing the foregoing notice.  It is not intended to offer legal advice, or to be an alternative to setting down with an attorney to discuss the matter in more detail should you have questions or concerns. 

1.) Submitting this notice invokes your lawful right to exempt your child from the comprehensive personal health and safety education or comprehensive sexual health education class or coursework.

2.) When completed, make two copies, sign and date each copy in ink.

3.) Proof of Service—Send the Opt-Out Notice to the school district by Certified Mail, Signature Requested (preferred method). Alternatively, it may be sent by any method whereby delivery can be confirmed. The school district’s signature serves as Proof of Service. You do no need nor are you asking for “agreement” or “authorization.” You only need proof that you delivered the Opt-Out Notice to the school.

4.) As a Second Proof of Service, take a completed notice to the school office. Ask the school secretary or school principal to sign and date; and/or to place the school “Received” stamp on both your copy of the notice as well as theirs. The Opt-Out Notice is an assertion of your legal rights and not an agreement. The signature from the school is not required to “validate” your demand. The school signature is only to serve as proof that the school was put on notice of your legal rights and that the violation of your rights could be legally actionable.

5.) Keep one copy (with proof of service) for your family and ask that the school keep a copy in your child’s school records (the cumulative file).

6.) While there is no express requirement in the law to resubmit the notice every school year, and the notice states it is perpetual, it may be prudent to resubmit it to your school district every school year just so they are clear of your position on the matter.