State Board Continues to Work on Draft Guidance for LGBTQ Students

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director, Office of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

July 22, 2016

LANSING – More work needs to be done on the Draft Guidance to local school districts in Michigan on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students and it will not be on the August 2016 State Board of Education meeting agenda.

There were over 13,000 Public Comments submitted by the May 11 deadline through an online format, public testimony, telephone calls to the State Board office, fax and traditional mail. Since the public comment period ended, that input has been read, reviewed, and is being considered.

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.

The guidance document would not be mandated and local school districts would be making their own decisions on their local policies. The guidance would merely offer options for districts to consider, if they choose to.  Local school districts each would decide to do what they believe is appropriate and helpful for all of their students.

The Draft Guidance document was initially composed by a work group consisting of parents, teachers, students, administrators, social workers, psychologists, local school board members, attorneys, and other stakeholders.