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Great Schools Initiative Applauds Benzie County Schools

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

For Immediate Release

June 8, 2023

Contact: Connie Johnson

Phone: 517.901.7272





Lansing, MI – Benzie County District Schools parents reached out to Great Schools Initiative (GSI) when the parents realized that sex education violations were occurring. GSI successfully helped parents to file complaints at the local district level for two violations: Non-compliance for the Sex Education Advisory Board and teaching the subject of abortion.

Michigan law requires that public schools must meet specific mandates before they can teach sex education. A school must have a Sex Education Advisory Board (SEAB) in place. The law outlines the requirements and the function of the SEAB, which includes a board co-chair, who is a parent in the district, and a full board that includes at least two parents, one student, a local clergy member, and a healthcare practitioner.

All sex education materials must be confined to the sex ed classroom with a qualified instructor and allow for prior notice to parents to review and/or opt out of anything that teaches, discusses, or displays materials that include human sexuality and ideologies. MCL 380.1507 also states that schools may not teach on the subject of abortion as part of family planning.

There are clear guidelines for the violation process, which begin with the parent filing a complaint with the school in question. Benzie County School Districts investigated the complaint in a timely manner and reported back to parents agreeing that violations had occurred. The school administrators immediately moved to correct the violations, working with parents to come into compliance with Michigan law.

Great Schools Initiative filed five complaints on behalf of parents in the Oakland County and Benzie County School Districts to compel schools to come into compliance with the law or face its consequences. Only Benzie County has responded and complied to outstanding violations and the requirement to investigate and respond within the 30 days as outlined in the law. Non-compliance puts the school district at risk for the loss of state funding and future lawsuits when the administrative process is exhausted.

GSI applauds Benzie County School District for its swift action to come into compliance with state law. This is an act of courage that sets a positive example for students, the district, and the entire state.

For more information please contact: (517) 901-7272



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