Illinois Senate Plan Aims To Teach High Schoolers Workplace Harassment Issues Related To #MeToo

May 9, 2019

A proposal moving through the Illinois legislature would give schools the option to teach high school students about issues related to the #MeToo movement like sexual harassment in the workplace.

It would allow schools to offer optional courses covering topics like legal protections against sexual harassment and racial discrimination in the workplace.


The measure passed the Illinois Senate and is now waiting for debate in the House.

Illinois 7th District Representative Emanuel "Chris" Welch is the bill’s chief sponsor in the House.



“When they were explaining their bill to me, I got excited about it, because I think it's never too early to prepare kids for issues that they're going to deal with in the real world," said Welch.


 “If you teach people concepts of sexual harassment and workplace harassment and intimidation and bullying -- these are things that as they grow older and become adults, they're mindful of and they're aware of, and I think they're just better human beings," he said.    

The bill was originally brought to the Senate by Democrat Melinda Bush. She is also responsible for the sweeping sexual harassment omnibus bill that passed the Senate last month. That bill is currently under a “comprehensive review” in the House.


Those legislative roadblocks do not appear to be in place for the education “workplace preparation" bill.

Representative Welch says when he presented the bill recently, it was met with clear bipartisan support. He says he’s confident the Senate could have something done by time the current session concludes at the end of this month.