Education LGBT

Michigan Board of Education Passes Comprehensive LGBTQ Protections

MichiganPostcard
JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Good news -- the Michigan Board of Education has voted to pass comprehensive protections for LGBTQ students across the entire state.

The vote came after about 60 people spoke during several hours of passionate debate from the public. And it left some overjoyed. There were tears, a lot of hugs and a lot of picture-taking outside the meeting room.

"I feel incredible," said Riley O'Brien, a transgender student and senior at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor. "This is so amazing for the future."

Among other things, the new guidelines passed by the board instructs all teachers and school staff to respect the gender identity of students and refer to them as their chosen names and pronouns even if they haven't legally changed their name.

The guidelines also state that transgender students should be permitted to use restrooms and athletic facilities that correspond with their gender identity. And, most impressively, the guidelines instruct teachers to avoid outing transgender students to their parents and family members.

The board has also instructed districts to provide training material to their staff and develop LGBTQ-inclusive classroom curriculum.

I fully expect some asshole or group of assholes will file a lawsuit against the board of education, but I'm fairly impressed by how far the board has chosen to go without being legally forced to. We need more proactive change in this country, not just change dictated by court rulings.

The Supreme Court has temporarily halted the federal government's enforcement of the guidelines adopted by the Michigan Board of Education, but that does not prevent school boards from adopting the guidelines themselves.

You can read the board's full guidelines here.

  • muselet

    The inevitable lawsuit will be filed at the start of business tomorrow, but until then, well done, Michigan Board of Education.

    –alopecia

  • swift_4

    They’re still hanging on the “safety” issue, but barely. Now their argument is just that a whole bunch of people don’t like it. They phrase it as “goes against the views and wishes of the people” or something like that. But basically they’re saying they don’t want protection for LGBT because they don’t like them.

  • Badgerite

    So, obviously we need a Peter Thiel on the Court who could not give a flying crap about any of this.
    Odd, really. He seemed to take his own personal case of being outed as a grown and highly successful billionaire rather to heart. He certainly did complain about it. How does he think it feels for your average relatively powerless teenager in high school?

    • Victor the Crab

      It’s a fools game to think Peter Thiel gives a flying fuck over what any teen dealing with their sexual preference is struggling with. He’s a selfish libertarian, first and foremost.

  • Georgie

    Good news, I wish everyone would respect each other, what a nice world it would be.

  • Aynwrong

    It’s depressing how refreshing decency has become. Kudos to the school board.