The Michigan Board of Education officially approved a guidance on LGBTQ students Wednesday, instructing the state’s public schools to let students choose their gender, name and bathroom in order to create an “inclusive school environment.”
The guidance was first drafted in February but went unnoticed until reported by The Daily Caller in March.
“Students should be allowed to use the restroom in accordance with their gender identity,” the guidance states.
According to the guidance, biological males who identify as transgender girls must be permitted to use the girls’s locker rooms, regardless of the discomfort caused to actual girls.
“Providing transgender students with activities and facilities consistent with their gender identity may feel uncomfortable for some students and/or their families,” the guidance states, before declaring such discomfort irrelevant.
“The [U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights] has emphasized, ‘A school’s Title IX obligation to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex requires schools to provide transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities even in circumstances in which other students, parents or community members raise objections or concerns. As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.’”
School employees will be expected to call all students by their preferred name and pronouns.
The guidance states: “When requested by the parent/guardian and/or student, school staff should engage in reasonable and good faith efforts to address students by their chosen name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, regardless of whether there has been a legal name change.”
Parents can’t count on finding out from the school if their child switches genders.
“When students have not come out to their parents(s), a disclosure to parents should be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis, school districts should consider the health, safety and well-being of the student, as well as the responsibility to keep parents informed,” the guidance states. “Privacy considerations may vary with the age of the students.”
LGBTQ activist group Equality Michigan sent a celebratory email to supporters soon after the guidance passed.
“This evening, we’re celebrating this important win, but there’s a great deal of work left to be done,” the email said. “We’ll need to work hard to ensure that these recommendations are implemented in local school districts across Michigan.”