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Proposed Illinois Law Would Require Sex Education Programs To Focus More On Consent

By Kate Thayer
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr)  If passed, schools would have to include several points in their teachings on consent, such as explaining that people cannot consent if they are intoxicated or asleep.

Chicago Tribune

Teaching “no means no” in sex education isn’t enough, according to a proposal in the Illinois legislature that would require Illinois schools that offer sex education to provide more thorough lessons on the issue of consent.

Lawmakers in the Illinois House are expected to vote on a bill that offers a more nuanced definition of consent in sex education programs for sixth- through 12th-graders in public schools.

Sex education is not mandated by law in Illinois, but schools that have such programs must include certain themes, like the issue of consent.

But the current law does not define consent, nor specify what instruction about it should include, said state Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, main sponsor of the bill.

“Consent is much more complex a topic than ‘no means no,'” she said. “It looks a lot different if someone is in a position of trust and authority … or if there is alcohol or drugs.”

If passed, schools would have to include several points in their teachings on consent, such as explaining that people cannot consent if they are intoxicated or asleep.

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