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The Importance of Comprehensive Personal Health and Safety and Sexual Health Education

Research demonstrates that instruction for students in all grades under the umbrella of personal health and safety and sexual health education – when done comprehensively – promotes self-confidence​ and a sense of belonging and can prevent health problems, unintended pregnancy in adolescents, and many forms of violence.

The Illinois Learning Standards for Comprehensive Personal Health and Safety and Sexual Health Education provide districts that choose to teach these topics a medically accurate, evidence-informed, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed guide for age-appropriate instruction in all grades.

Sex education in Illinois is optional for districts to provide. Parents can also opt their student out of instruction. 

As required by state law, the Illinois Learning Standards for Comprehensive Personal Health and Safety and Sexual Health Education​PDF Document are the National Sex Education Standards. The Illinois standards are organized into seven topic strands: 

  • Consent and Healthy Relationships 
  • Anatomy and Physiology 
  • Puberty and Adolescent Sexual Development 
  • Gender Identity and Expression 
  • Sexual Orientation and Identity 
  • Sexual Health 
  • Interpersonal Violence 

FAQ: See Frequently Asked Questions​PDF Document about comprehensive personal health and safety education and comprehensive sexual health education (updated and revised on August 2022).​​​​

 Resources for Districts

 Resources for Parents/Guardians

​Parents/Guardians play an important role in talking to their children about personal health and safety and sexual health topics. Learn more about the importance of comprehensive personal health and safety and sexual health education. 

Below are links to several websites identified by the PA 102-0255 stakeholder group that are directed at parents/caregivers:
Resource Description Age Range
Darkness to Light
Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children training program for adults is a fee-based training program about preventing and responding to sexual abuse. Some of the modules are offered for only $10 per person, and the site also offers a few free resources for adults, including school staff. K-12th
Don't Panic: Talking with Your Teen about Healthy Relationships and Sexuality Don’t Panic: Talking with Your Teen about Healthy Relationships and Sexuality is composed of two separate electronic guides available in four languages that parents and caregivers can easily navigate. Available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Urdu. 6th-12th
"Early, Open, Often" These are parent websites about abuse prevention and open conversations within families. Available in English and Spanish. K-5th
Illinois Imagines Parent/caregiver guide The Illinois Imagines toolkit consists of nine modules about sexuality and adults with disabilities. This guide for parents and caregivers​PDF Document is relevant to those caring for emerging adults (high school age students). 9th-12th​

Keeping My Family Safe workbook This handbook has a children and parents reading list at the end, a template for a family safety plan, and boundaries to set for your family. Available in English and Spanish. K-5th
NetSmartz NetSmartz​ is a program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It houses multiple resources focusing on the prevention of online sexual exploitation and the sharing of child sexual abuse material. Parents can download free resources to use, and children can practice safety using online games. K-8th
Sex Positive Families This site is curated by a sexual health educator and social worker with a focus on culturally inclusive and gender inclusive educational support for family talks. Book list can be searched by age and topic. K-12th
Stop It Now This website has free resources and a helpline pertaining to sexual harm, problematic sexual behavior, and abuse prevention. There are a number of free tip sheets. K-12th

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