New Illinois law requires sex education programs teach consent

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois teachers will now have to teach students what consent means before having sex.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law on Monday and goes into effect in January.

The law mandates kids in grades 6 through 12 to have an age appropriate discussion in school on the meaning of sexual consent.

The law includes a definition of consent, which includes the following things:

  • Consent is a freely given agreement to sexual activity,
  • Consent to one particular sexual activity does not constitute consent to other types of sexual activities,
  • A person’s lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the use or threat of force does not constitute consent,
  • A person’s manner of dress does not constitute consent, (v) a person’s consent to past sexual activity does not constitute consent to future sexual activity, (vi) a person’s consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another person, (vii) a person can withdraw consent at any time, and (viii) a person cannot consent to sexual activity if that person is unable to understand the nature of the activity or give knowing consent due to certain circumstances.

According to WLDS, advocates of the bill say it gives young people boundaries of what is and what is not ok. Opponents of the measure say it is inappropriate to teach younger people in 6th grade about sexual activity.

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