Public Comment Period Extended on Guidance to Assist Schools with LGTBQ Students

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

March 25, 2016

LANSING – The Public Comment period for the Draft Guidance document on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students will be extended at least another 30 days.

“We want to be very thoughtful in this discussion, hear all of the input, clarify any misconceptions, and modify the guidance to meet the needs of educators, parents and students in creating safe and effective learning environments for all children – including LGBTQ school children.” said State Board of Education President John C. Austin.

There are over 3,000 Public Comments submitted already, through the online format. There also are additional comments sent by fax and traditional mail.

The State Board of Education and the Michigan Department of Education developed the guidance at the request of schools and educators asking for recommendations of best practices in creating more supportive learning environments for LGBTQ students, who are at greater risk of suicide, and are not succeeding academically absent a supportive school environment.

Early this week the State Board issued a clarification regarding the Draft Guidance, including the fact that this Guidance document would not be mandated and that local school districts would be making their own decisions on local policies to best meet the needs of children and families.

The State Board and Michigan Department of Education welcomes public input as it will continue to consult and deliberate on providing guidance and assistance for school districts to ensure the safety and inclusion of all of its students.

Persons wanting to provide their input on the Draft Guidance can do so at: www.everyvoicecountsmi.org

The Draft Guidance document is available here: http://everyvoicecountsmi.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SBE-Statement-on-LGBTQ-Youth-2-9-2016-v2.pd