CHICAGO – Committed to continue working to create a better culture for students in school and beyond, state Rep. Jaime Andrade, D-Chicago, is joining House Democratic colleagues to support legislation aimed at teaching the meaning of consent.
“Students need to have an early discussion about what consent means with their peers and with adults to have a full understanding of it,” Andrade said. “There are countless news stories of college students assaulting women who have justified their actions by blaming women’s clothing or believing that ‘no’ means ‘yes.’ We have to do better than this, and this bill will help us accomplish that.”
Andrade is supporting House Bill 3550, which would require sex education curriculum to include an age-appropriate section on the meaning of consent. Curriculum would include some of the following: consent must be freely given, consent to one sexual activity does not presume consent to another type of activity, how someone is dressed does not constitute consent, and an individual can withdraw consent at any time.
“This is a serious topic that requires critical thinking from everyone but we have to provide the tools and nurturing environment for our students to approach consent,” Andrade said. “If we can help our youth establish clear boundaries early on, this will help them develop better ways of communicating and respecting their peers down the line and not make false assumptions about how others feel and think.”
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