FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: L. Michael Gipson, MS
Organization: Equality Michigan
Telephone: 313-537-7000 ext. 105
Equality Michigan Commends State Board of Education for Adoption of Safe Schools Guidance
September 14, 2016 – Lansing, MI — After many months of public engagement dialogue and deliberation, the Michigan State Board of Education voted today to adopt the “Guidance on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students.” In response, Equality Michigan commended the Board on their leadership.
“This comprehensive, research-based guidance is an important step toward ensuring that every Michigan student has access to safe schools and equal educational opportunities, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Equality Michigan Executive Director Stephanie White. “The unfortunate reality is that LGBTQ students are subject to pervasive bullying, harassment, and discrimination in Michigan schools, which negatively impacts their health, well-being, and academic achievement.”
The Board’s guidance makes best practice recommendations related to a broad scope of issues impacting school safety and academic achievement, including nondiscrimination policies, staff training, and educational culture. In addition, the guidance provides specific recommendations related to transgender and gender nonconforming students, including affirming that federal civil rights laws protect the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity.
“At a time when far too many of our leaders in Michigan and across the country are focused on scoring political points at the expense of the health and safety of transgender students, our State Board of Education put the needs of students first,” noted White.
To review the final draft of the State Board approved guidance, visit here.