Rogue Sex Education Battles in Michigan

Authored by Becky Behrends, published in American Thinker on March 9, 2023

Outraged parents in Michigan have created a grass roots response to the hypersexualization of children in their schools.  They have created the Great Schools Initiative (GSI) to fight against what is termed “rogue” sex education.

Rogue sex education is when discussions about sex, gender ideology, the use of pronouns inconsistent with biology, or display of materials such as LGBTQ flags or clothing for cross dressing, etc, occurs in classes other than the approved sex education class.  Also, the instructor of the sex education class must be certified in this area.

Michigan law, as based on a 1976 statute (PA 451, Sec. 1507-3), is very clear on this matter. In fact, the MIchigan Attorney General, Frank Kelley, rendered an opinion regarding this in1981:

“Parents have a right to review the contents of any course in which family planning or reproductive health are discussed before they exercise their right to have their child excused from the class.  School authorities may not avoid the effect of this law by including any sex education instruction in a required class.  This is expressly prohibited by law.” 

Rogue discussions on sexuality are also a violation of federal law, namely the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Under this law, children are not to be “outed” through polls, quizzes and various other communications about sexuality.  Teachers, counselors or administrators have no business encroaching on the privacy and safety of students in this regard.

It is against the law to hold formal or informal discussions about sexual topics or ideologies in required classes such as social studies, science or English classes.

Teachers who promote or engage in this are attempting to circumvent the law.

In response to this, Great Schools Initiative has provided an opt-out form on their website.  This would provide opt-out from any class where sexuality is informally or formally discussed or suggested via symbols, objects or pictures.  This form was created in collaboration with the Thomas More Society.  This is a national team of conservative attorneys dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, religious liberty, and election integrity.  Based in Chicago, they are a not-for-profit public interest law firm.

GSI correctly states the following:

“Human sexuality has always been a very personal and sensitive component of life.  And children, who, by definition, are not yet mature physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually are exceptionally vulnerable to the predatory behavior of adults who intentionally violate parental choice and state law.”

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is alarmed over GSI’s opt out form.  Their position is that opt-out only applies to board-approved sex education classes.  And schools already have opt-out forms for this as sex education is not mandatory for students or for graduation.  However, the MDE said that ultimately the policy for dealing with this needs to be determined at the local district level.  They refuse to address the issue of “rogue” sex discussions.

This opens up local school districts to lawsuits, which GSI and Thomas Moore attorneys are prepared to pursue if necessary to force compliance to law.  Their intent, however, is for school boards, administrators and teachers to cooperate in providing for the safety, privacy and parental control of their children.

When children walk into a math or science class and are confronted with pride flags or rainbow banners, it creates curiosity and questioning on their part.  Teachers would very easily be drawn into discussing homosexuality and lesbian lifestyles and ideologies.  This should not be discussed anymore than the meaning or intimate practices of heterosexual relationships.  It should be off limits.

The pushback from the LGBTQ community is that LGBT youth and children need to be affirmed and have a sense of “pride” for who they are.  If not, they are subject to hate crimes, discrimination, depression and suicide.  Pride Flags represent, according to their view, diversity, community and love.

The LGBTQ community constantly labels heterosexuals as responsible for the mental health fallout they experience.  They complain that, “If you only would allow us equal representation, visibility and acceptance, we wouldn’t have all the psychiatric problems we experience”.

It never occurs to them that embarking on the gay lifestyle they embrace might be problematic enough.  One doesn’t necessarily need to lay it at the feet of those who promote traditional male-female sexual roles and family structure.

study was conducted in the Netherlands in 2009.  The Netherlands had long been noted as a world leader with respect to gay rights with societal approval of gay marriage as well.  Despite this, homosexual Dutch men have much higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders as well as suicide attempts compared to heterosexual Dutch men.  It was acknowledged that gay men had achieved socioeconomic, legal and political equality as well as social approval.  The persistent mental health problems were disturbing, to say the least, to the study’s investigators who were expecting a different result.

With respect to heterosexual activity, we live in an age of the hook up culture, teen pregnancies and an epidemic of STD’s ( now known as STI’s or sexually transmitted infections).  News headlines abound such as “Shocking Rise in STI’s During Covid Alarms Health Workers”, and “STD epidemic in US is out of control’,warn experts, CDC.”

Given the problematic trajectory of gay lifestyles and heterosexual promiscuity, it  is no wonder that parents are saying, enough is enough!  The hypersexualization of our children needs to stop.

The right to existence for LGBT students in schools is not being called into question.  This is not a “First Amendment right to freedom of speech” issue for the gay community.  The idea that marginalized gay students need safe spaces thus justifying open discussions about homosexuality is incredibly one-sided.  What about students raised with traditional, heterosexual values?  In schools dominated by LGBT ideology, where would the safe spaces be for straight students who reject LGBT lifestyles and ideology for themselves?

A proper balance can be achieved by confining ANY sexual discussions to a designated sex-ed class: LGBTQ, heterosexual, gender fluidity, transgenderism, abstinence, etc.  For those who want to engage in ideological mission creep into other classrooms — it is just a poorly disguised attempt at indoctrination.  And parents in Michigan are seeing it for what it is.

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