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MDE Doesn't Know the Law

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) posted a Memo on February 2, 2023 in response to the growing number of parents across the state who are utilizing the GEI Opt-Out Form. The MDE attempts to make a case that the Rogue Sex-Ed, of which they are promoting in most other subject areas across all grade levels, is not subject to the GEI Opt-Out, because it is not in the official Sex-Ed Class.

We at GEI are troubled that the MDE, clearly acknowledging the Rogue Sex-Ed, refuses to stop it. Instead, the MDE is encouraging schools to ignore their legal obligation to accept written parental opt-out. Michigan law wisely restricts all sex-education to the approved sex-ed class, with approved curriculum, by a trained educator. There is no place for Rogue Sex-Ed.

"The Legislature has expressly provided in 1976 PA 451, Sec. 1507(3), supra, that 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 1976 PA 451, Sec. 1507(3), supra, by including any sex education instruction in a required class. This is expressly prohibited by law."

Furthermore Kelley states:

"It is, therefore, my opinion that 1976 PA 451, Sec. 1507(2) and (3), supra, prohibits a board of education of a school district from including any sex education instruction in any class or course that students are required to take."

The law is clear and even the MDE memo's author acknowledges that sex-ed includes the topics of human sexuality.

In the Memo, Ms. Golzynski wrote,

"Michigan law allows for, 'instruction on sex education, including family planning, human sexuality, and the emotional, physical, psychological, hygienic, economic, and social aspects of family life.'"

Nowhere in the law does it require a parent use the school's form. Rather it clearly states that the school must accept a parent's written opt-out! Maybe the Michigan Department of Education needs an English refresher course. Or maybe the MDE has another agenda that they are pushing despite its clear illegality.

Furthermore, the MDE's NON-BINDING memo and NON-BINDING resolution puts local schools at risk. The MDE states

"Decisions regarding excusal from these programs, practices, and resources are governed by other federal and state statutes (e.g., civil rights laws, privacy laws) as well as local policies and practices. How districts handle these parent requests would also be determined locally, within the context of those statutes."

This means that the MDE is abdicating any responsibility. Any local school district or school board that ignores the law is at risk of legal action.

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