State Supt. Whiston Statement on Federal Guidance to Schools on Transgender Students

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

May 13, 2016

LANSING – The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released joint guidance today to help provide educators the information they need to ensure that all students, including transgender students, can attend school in an environment free from discrimination based on sex.

The State Board of Education also is in the process of developing voluntary draft guidance for school districts regarding LGBTQ students.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston issued the following statement on the issue:

“We are going to fully review the federal guidance released today to schools and will measure how it aligns with the State Board’s draft guidance.

“We are going to be respectful of the nearly 13,000 public comments offered online, in writing, by phone, and in person by the May 11 deadline.  There are three particular areas of interest that have been raised most – that of the role of parents, and the use of school bathrooms and locker facilities. 

“We are committed to listening and being considerate of that input, and shaping ultimate guidance that encourages schools to appropriately engage parents and flexibly determine bathroom and locker room policies that increase safety, and improve school engagement while respecting the dignity and rights of all students, including LGBTQ children.

“The State Board continues to go through its process for developing guidance to local school districts and won’t be taking any action on this issue until at least August, at the earliest.”