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Michigan bill mirrors Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law

Age-appropriate sex ed for students in grades K-3 is the goal of House Bill 6503

Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, introduced House Bill 6503 on Nov. 29, which limits sex education in public schools for children grades K-3. The bill reads almost identical to part of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law . LaFave’s bill states school boards or board of directors will not:

[P]rovide classroom instruction, including, but not limited to, classroom instruction provided by school personnel of the school or classroom instruction provided at the school by third parties, concerning sexual orientation or gender identity to pupils in any of grades K to 3 or in any manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for pupils.

The bill leaves open for arguments what is considered age and developmentally appropriate. A similar bill in Florida received national attention due to fierce opposition from those who want to introduce children to education about gender identity and sexual orientation. It was labeled by the opposition as the “Don’t say gay” bill, even though no such language appears in it.

LaFave did not respond to a CapCon request for comment. It is unknown why he waited until near the end of the legislative term to introduce the legislation. Even if the bill passes the House and Senate, it will likely not be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

There have been six bills introduced this legislative term on sex education, according to the Michigan Votes website.

House Bill 6452, introduced by Rep. Luke Merrman, R-Coopersville, would prohibit sex education until fourth grade.

House Bill 5476, introduced by Rep. Regina Weiss, D-Oak Park, and Senate Bill 701, introduced by Rep. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-East Lansing, share the same language. The bills would require sex education to include “affirmative consent, sexual assault, dating violence, and the prevention of sexual assault and dating violence.”

House Bill 5475, introduced by Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, would require sex education in public schools to affirm people with different sexual orientations and “be inclusive of same-sex relationships.” It also includes a requirement to have an objective discussion on abortion.

House Bill 4938, introduced by Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia, requires that school-based instruction on HIV infection include information on post-exposure prophylaxis or pre-exposure prophylaxis medications.

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.