News Story

Lawmakers, Education Officials Looking To Inject Gender Politics Into Michigan Schools

Yet no cultural consensus in sight on introducing this to schoolchildren

State Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, has introduced a bill in the Michigan House that would require public school sex education classes to include lessons on the subjects of gender identity and gender expression.

Hood, along with 20 Democratic co-sponsors, introduced the bill on Feb. 19, after which it was assigned to the Committee on Education.

The bill would amend the state school code so that if a local school board chooses to offer sex education classes – something optional under Michigan law – it must comply with the new requirement.

The bill states, “Instruction and materials must teach pupils about gender, gender expression, and gender identity, and must explore the harm of negative gender stereotypes.”

In 2017, the Williamston Public Schools Board of Education adopted a policy that allowed its students to choose their own gender. That policy is being challenged in court by parents who sued the school board and the district.

The school district stated in a court filing, “The policy then continues that the district will accept the gender identity that each student asserts based on the student’s legitimately held belief, and that the district will customize support to allow the student equal access to the district’s educational programs and activities.”

One school district official has declared his own gender identity in public emails. The executive director of communications for Grand Rapids Public Schools, for example, now includes in his email footer the words “He/Him/His” as his “preferred pronouns.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.