Morris Elementary Dist. 54: Board places first vote on SB 818 Bill

Second vote will take place in Feb.

From left: Board Recording Secretary Lisa Beeler, Superintendent Dr. Shannon Dudek, and Board President Sarah Bogard  during Tuesday nights board meeting.

MORRIS – The Morris Elementary School District 54 school board meeting Tuesday night featured a room full of concerned citizens and parents all petitioning for the board to opt out of SB 818.

SB 818 is a bill ratified by the Illinois Senate and signed by Gov. JB Pritzker that will require schools to, among other things, teach students about LBGTQ+ individuals as well as gender identity.

“It really goes like this, no sex education is one choice or the second choice is NSES aka comprehensive personal health and safety and sexual health education program,” said Superintendent Shannon Dudek. “Now there is a lot of misinformation right now across the state I want to clarify with you. There is a great argument that if you have a stand-alone sex education class, the rules would apply to you. If you don’t have a sex education class and you have a general health class, like we do, this policy doesn’t apply to us. My recommendation for the board, and one that they have taken, is we are not going to do anything. We are going to stick with our general health curriculum that we have used for years.”

Most participants opted out of the public participation section after Dudek clarified that he believed that bill only applied to sex education that District 54 does not currently offer that the board opted to keep the current curriculum, with the note that there could be updates or clarification down the road.

The board will vote again on SB 818 bill in February.

Maribeth M. Wilson

Maribeth M. Wilson is a reporter for Shaw Local News Network