News Bite

Parents of Okemos: How responsive are your schools?

Tell us your stories, parents of Okemos Public Schools

“If that’s what the student wants, that’s what we’ll try to do.”

Those words from Laura Slee ring out in a video tutorial on gender expression for fifth and sixth grade teachers at Okemos Public schools. Slee is the district’s director of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

When it comes to names and preferred pronouns, Okemos Public Schools will do anything it can to help. Whatever the student wants, that’s what they will do. Teachers who chronically fail to use a student’s preferred name or pronoun “could potentially fall under our harassment policy,” Slee warned.

Which made us wonder at CapCon: Are Okemos schools always responsive, when students have needs? Or just on this one issue?

We don’t know. I don’t live in Okemos, or spend time there. So we are asking the parents of Okemos to tell us your experience with Okemos Public Schools, whether with gender issues or anything else.

If the schools are accommodating, they should be. They run on public dollars and serve a public mission. They should serve the public eagerly. They should work cooperatively with parents, not in competition against them.

Our question is: Do they?

Tell us your stories. Email me at

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.