New IL Laws Affect Students

Centaysia Nelson, Feature Editor

Illinois introduced 285 new laws that took place on January 1, 2022. Some affect youth lifestyle, health, and also schools in the way they would teach or would counsel a student for their future. In addition to the five mental health days allowed for students and the increase in minimum wage, there are several lesser-known laws that took effect. We get new laws every year so we can constantly evolve our society. One of the new laws to help develop our school system. Was introduced for the SAT and ACT test affecting high school students in Illinois: “HB 00226: Public universities will now be required to permit students to choose whether they submit ACT and SAT scores when applying for admission”.
This law means that an Illinois college or university can’t require a student to submit an SAT or ACT score. Students can still choose to submit a score, but it won’t affect the application process. However, in the state of Illinois, the SAT is still a graduation requirement. “The test is designed to show you where you’re at if you were to take a college-level course,” Assistant Principal Jon Puklin said. Students who plan on going to another college outside of Illinois have to take the test anyway because the law only applies in Illinois. The SAT is changing now so students have to just be aware for their future.

Another law was “SB 00564: Requires schools to include contributions by Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists and any other collective community of faith that helped shape America in history curriculums.” This new law mean that schools have to add the historical contributions of people of these faiths to the curriculums in school. Additionally, HB 376, the Teaching Equitable Asian American History Act requires Asian American history to be taught in public schools.” The difference between the two new laws is Asian American History Act requires a whole unit. “The nice thing about being at Plainfield is we already include these things in our curriculum,” Humanities Division Chair Steve Lamberti said.
Even though this information is already taught, the district will go back and revise and update as they see fit. With the new law, Illinois becomes the first state in the United States to require teachings about the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in public classrooms.

“What we’re going to do though is we’re going to make sure that if there’s anything we can add, any adjustments we can make, or any places where we can focus more on so everything can be best for our students,” Lamberti said.
As a result of discrimination in schools based on hairstyles, Illinois decided to create law “SB 00817: Bans schools from discriminating against student hairstyles associated with racial, ethnic, and cultural traditions.” According to Assistant Principal Matt Ambrose, it is unclear whether this law will pertain to headscarves and du-rags. Students support the new law. “It took them long enough. I mean, I’m just saying,” Junior Alexine Rodriguez said. Stricter regulations for vape dealers were also applied in “SB 00512: The “Preventing Youth Vaping Act” that aims to prevent vaping by children.” This law plans on placing more restrictions on e-cigarettes including imposing additional civil and criminal penalties. Vaping is a big problem in high school that has grew over the years and will not be an overnight conquer. “I hope they’re trying to target younger kids from getting used to vaping”, Ambrose said.” High school kids, If they were vaping, I think unfortunately they might find a way around that.”