⚧️ SIGN PETITION: Support Gender Inclusive Schools in Michigan!

Local School Board Members Across Michigan

I support our LGBTQIA+ students.

Our LGBTQ+ youth need our support right now! We know how important it is to have safe and inclusive schools for our youth. We are shocked at the hateful words and actions by a small organized group of adults and we won’t stand by and let them discredit trainings, inclusive sex ed curriculum or the books we have in our libraries. We call on you to stand with us and sign this petition in support of our LGBTQ+ youth and educators and to send a strong message to those in power in our schools and legislature that we will not allow discrimination and political agendas to harm our children!

This petition is organized by a coalition of groups and organizations including PRISM Detroit, GLSEN Southeast MI, Stand with Trans, and Michigan Education Justice Coalition to show support for policies and professional development that make our schools a safe space for LGBTQIA+ students. We are demanding that schools are inclusive spaces where all students' identities are affirmed.

To: Local School Board Members Across Michigan
From: [Your Name]

Recently, organized groups that represent a vocal minority in Michigan have been making calculated and vigorous attacks on educators and LGBTQ+ students in Michigan schools. They have made false and deliberately divisive claims about the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and its efforts to support LGBTQ+ young people, their families, and school staff and administration. Let's be clear: MDE sees parents as key partners in this work to help support LGBTQ+ students in school, and the strategies that are recommended align with the law and best practice. More so, students desperately need these supports and schools are requesting them. In Michigan, LGBTQ+ students are far more likely than their non-LGBTQ+ peers to be bullied and victimized in schools, to experience homelessness, and to attempt suicide.

Another alarming example of discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community is the recent effort to ban certain books from our school libraries. It is important to note the precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court on this topic. In 1982, the Court determined that removing books from a school because certain people simply disliked the ideas contained in those books violated the First Amendment rights of students.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Michigan schools need inclusive policies and knowledgeable school staff who can help create safer and more supportive school environments so teachers can teach and students can learn.

We call on you to:
- PASS A TRANSGENDER AND NON-BINARY INCLUSIVE POLICY that includes the requirement for professional development for all staff to ensure staff are knowledgeable and contribute to a safe and supportive school culture.
- ENSURE YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS SELECTION AND RECONSIDERATION POLICIES FOR LIBRARY MATERIALS and that a book cannot be removed from a print or e-book library collection until a formal decision has been made by the reconsideration committee. In addition, best practices call for a certified school librarian to select materials to support all students and to represent diverse points of view.
- SPEAK OUT PUBLICLY IN SUPPORT OF LGBTQ+ STUDENTS AND STAFF and affirm your commitment to ensuring safety and inclusion in your school community.

In addition to those that have signed this petition as individuals, an active set of organizations including PRISM, GLSEN Southeast MI, Stand with Trans, and the Michigan Education Justice Coalition also sign in support of this petition. These organizations are available to work with local school districts to show support for policies and professional development that make our schools a safe space for LGBTQIA+ students. You can contact trina@miedjustice.org for any support needed or with questions.

We fully expect to see a wave of local school districts across Michigan stand in affirmation and with love for our LGBTQ+ youth and educators.