school hallway

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed two bills focused on student inclusion in Illinois public schools.

State Rep. Will Guzzardi's House Bill 120  amends the school code to give the governing boards of each school district the ability to allow sports uniform modifications for modesty for religious and cultural reasons. This bill would allow student-athletes to consult with their school board rather than having to file a complaint with the Illinois High School Association, which governs most interscholastic sports in the state.

Maaria Mozaffar, director of advocacy and policy at the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition, said with so many athletes having to miss out on events because of uniform issues, Illinois has a lot to gain. 

"We were missing out on seeing these athletes," Mozaffar said. "Now these athletes feel that they have a space and Illinois and the country is going to gain by allowing these athletes to be a part of the process." 

Another measure signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker is House Bill 234. The bill requires school districts to add media literacy instruction to the computer literacy curriculum. 

State Sen. Karina Villa, a Democrat and chief Senate sponsor for the legislation, said while students are online more than ever, they are still vulnerable to misinformation.

“The internet has become the main public square for young people; they debate and discuss politics and news but are also vulnerable to misinformation,” Villa said.

The bill has seen some pushback from Republican lawmakers, including state Rep. Adam Niemerg. He called it an “anti-Trump, anti-conservative” reactionary bill, which he said is an attempt by the left “to get into our school systems at a young age and teach them the means of mainstream media.”

Both laws go into effect immediately.