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IFT Legislative Highlights for the Week of March 22 (Part 2 of 2)

Student Health and Sex Education, Sexual Abuse Prevention, ‘Sexting’ all addressed in Multiple Bills

Sexting

HB 24 (Rep. West, D-Rockford) requires that course materials and instruction include age-appropriate discussions about sexting, possible consequences of sharing and forwarding inappropriate materials, identification of situations in which bullying or harassment may occur, safe uses of the internet, and adults whom students may contact if in need of assistance. Passed unanimously.

Health Education must include legal and medical impacts of cannabis use.

HB 79 (Rep. Flowers, D-Chicago) provides that a school's comprehensive health education program must include instruction on the medical and legal ramifications of cannabis use. Passed unanimously.

Child Sex Abuse Prevention

HB 1975 (Rep. Mussman, D-Schaumburg) requires the State Board of Education to prepare a parent resource guide to provide a centralized source of the assistance, support, advocacy, and resources available to the parent or guardian of a student who is, or may be, the victim of sexual abuse. Provides for up to two teachers institute days for child abuse prevention training and sexual harassment prevention training and requires training for school personnel on child sexual abuse. Provides for professional development opportunities concerning the well-being of students. Adds provisions concerning sexual misconduct in schools, including requiring a school district to develop a code of conduct, an employment history review, and what a sex education class must teach. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to add certain acts to the offenses of criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and grooming. This bill is a work in progress and will be amended. Passed unanimously.

Comprehensive Sex Education

HB 3071 (Rep. Lilly, D-Chicago) makes changes concerning sex education, including changing the name to sexual health and changing course requirements. Makes changes concerning family life course requirements. Amends the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act to make changes concerning the educational areas a comprehensive health education program must include. Passed out of committee 14-9.

Child Sex Abuse Prevention, Revises ‘Grooming’ definition