State Board Was Asked for Guidance on Assisting Schools with Transgender Students

Contact: John C. Austin, President, State Board of Education 517-373-3902
Agency: Education

March 23, 2016

LANSING – In response to questions and concerns, the State Board of Education wants to provide clarification regarding a Draft Guidance document on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students that currently is out for public comment.

  1. A number of school districts asked the State Board of Education for guidance on how to address circumstances where transgender students and their parents express how the students were being marginalized, excluded, and discriminated against.
     
  2. A work group was formed by the State Board to develop a Guidance document for local school districts. This work group consisted of parents, teachers, students, administrators, social workers, psychologists, local school board members, attorneys, and other stakeholders.
     
  3. Draft Guidance was developed by this work group for the State Board to consider adopting, to provide assistance to local school districts that may be faced with these circumstances. This Guidance would not be required to be adopted by any local school district, it merely offers options for districts to consider, if they so choose.
     
  4. As with all State Board of Education guidance, this would not be mandatory for local school districts to adopt. Local school districts each would decide to do what they believe is appropriate and helpful for all of their students.
     
  5. The Draft Guidance was presented at a public meeting of the State Board of Education on March 8. That Draft Guidance now is open for public comment. Each member of the Legislature was sent notice on March 17 of this public comment opportunity, with a link to the Draft Guidance document. 
     
  6. The State Board welcomes public input as it will continue to deliberate on providing guidance and assistance for school districts wanting to ensure the safety and inclusion of all of its students. 

Persons wanting to provide their input on the Draft Guidance can do so through April 11 at: www.everyvoicecountsmi.org 

The Draft Guidance document is available here: http://everyvoicecountsmi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SBE-Statement-on-LGBTQ-Youth-2-9-2016-v2.pdf