House Bill 1736, known as the Responsible Education for Adolescent and Children’s Health (REACH) Act, seeks to expand and extend sex education in public schools. The bill does not impact what is taught in Catholic schools; however, there are a number of problematic provisions that fail to respect the nature and purpose of human sexuality and would inappropriately introduce young children to topics they are not prepared to fully understand. The bill mandates topics in three age ranges: grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-12.
- K-2 includes topics concerning sex and diverse family structures.
- For grades 3-5, there is a mandate to include local resources where students can get additional information and confidential services related to sex and reproductive health (including abortion services), sexual orientation, gender identity, and other related issues.
- For grades 6-12, topics include instruction on a range of objectionable sexual behaviors as affirming and pleasurable, how to use and obtain birth control and emergency contraception, and like provisions.
The legislation does include some helpful provisions, such as establishing instruction on how to identify sexual abuse and the dangers of social media. However, the good of these provisions is outweighed by the bad. CCI calls on the Illinois General Assembly to reject this legislation.