Dear Concerned Citizen:
You may be unhappy as I was that the State Board of Education adopted the LGBTQ Guidelines. They purport to help sexual minorities in our schools by allowing children as young as KIndergarten to declare their sexual identity and orientation, ask that this not be shared with parents, and further, to participate in sports based on a psychological gender identity rather than physical gender. The Guidelines further call for the hiring of LGBTQ teachers and counselors to serve as role-models for these students, as well as for calling attention to LGBTQ individuals’ contributions across all areas of the curriculum. You can read the actual text of the Guidelines at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/SBEStatementonLGBTQYouth_534576_7.pdf.
The intentions are good, but if policy is to guide decisions and make outcomes predictable, this is very bad policy indeed because it leaves the decisions to be made by children on the basis of subjective changeable feelings rather than objective criteria such as birth certificate or a physician’s assessment. Expectations of dress, bathroom, and locker room procedures are upended by these policy Guidelines.
Unfortunately, the Michigan Department of Education spent many hours processing the over 13,000 responses, most of which opposed the Guidelines, and the State Board itself spent three of 9 meetings this year on an issue some have called social engineering, outside the mission- and competence- of the teaching profession. This was a great distraction from the new state Superintendent’s efforts to develop a plan to overcome Michigan’s chronic failure to achieve academic goals generally, and especially for urban students.
Claiming responsibility for passing these Guidelines is Board President John Austin (See his campaign website http://www.austinformichigan.com/news/category/lgbt ). He must stand for re-election this November on the Democrat ballot. The other Democrat nominated for State Board of Education, a former Department of Education employee, also supports these Guidelines.
The Republican nominees for the State Board of Education, Registered Nurse Nikki Snyder (rhttp://www.nikkisnyder.net -no relation to the Governor), and former State Representative Tom McMillin (http://www.tom4sbe.com) share my objections to these LGBTQ Guidelines. Even if you normally vote Democratic, I ask you to consider sending a message to the Michigan Department of Education by voting for these two candidates this November and encouraging friends who share our disapproval of these Guidelines to do so as well.
You may wish to forward this message to others concerned by recent Board priorities.
Yours for the welfare of Michigan’s children,
(The Honorable) Dr. RICHARD ZEILE Member of the STATE BOARD of EDUCATION
15 Timberlane Court, Dearborn, MI 48126 (313) 802-1146