Michigan State Board of Education Meeting for May 10, 2016 – Afternoon Session Part 1


>>CALL THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING BACK TO ORDER. THE TIME IS NOW 12:32, AND A QUORUM OF THE BOARD IS PRESENT. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING OF MAY 10th, 2016 IS CALLED TO ORDER. THE FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS IS INTRODUCTION OF NEW EMPLOYEES. KYLE, I THINK YOU HAVE AN INTRODUCTION?>>I DO. THEY WILL NOT BE HERE UNTIL 1:00, THOUGH.>>OKAY. WE WILL COME BACK. LET ME KNOW. SO WE’RE GOING TO MOVE TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING. MARILYN WILL BE CALLING PEOPLE BY NAME AND THEN LETTING PEOPLE KNOW WHO IS ON DECK. WE HAVE PROBABLY OVER A HUNDRED PEOPLE WHO WOULD LIKE TO TESTIFY. SO WE’RE GOING TO RESPECT THAT. AND WE’RE GOING TO SIT AND LISTEN TO EVERYONE WHO WISHES TO SPEAK TO US, BUT BECAUSE THERE IS SO MANY PEOPLE, WE ARE GOING TO BE VERY STRINGENT ON THE TIME. WHEN YOU SEE THE THREE MINUTES IS UP, WE NEED YOU TO CONCLUDE, SO THAT WE CAN RESPECT THE 99 PEOPLE BEHIND YOU. SO– WHAT WE DO ALSO EXPECT IS THAT EVERYONE WILL TREAT EACH OTHER IN A PROFESSIONAL, RESPECTFUL MANNER. AND AGAIN, THERE WON’T BE ANY OUTBURSTS DURING PEOPLE’S TESTIMONY. POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE OR CLAPPING OR ANY OF THAT. LET’S JUST SIT, AND LISTEN TO EACH OTHER, RESPECT EACH OTHER AND LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. AND SO I APPRECIATE PEOPLE’S WILLINGNESS TO DO THAT. SO WHERE WE’RE GOING TO HEAD FROM HERE IS TOMORROW– WHAT TIME? END OF THE DAY TOMORROW IS THE END OF THE COMMENT PERIOD. PEOPLE HAVE UNTIL THE END OF DAY TOMORROW TO PROVIDE COMMENT. ONCE THE COMMENT PERIOD CLOSES, WE’LL BE LOOKING AT ALL OF THE COMMENTS THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED. THE COMMITTEE WHO ORIGINALLY MADE THE RECOMMENDATIONS WILL TAKE A LOOK AT ALL OF THE INPUT THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED. WE EXPECT THAT TO BE OVER AROUND 15,000 GIVE OR TAKE COMMENTS, SO IT’S GONNA TAKE A LITTLE WHILE TO GO THROUGH ALL OF THOSE. AND PEOPLE TOOK THE TIME TO MAKE COMMENTS, SO WE’RE GOING TO RESPECT THAT AND DO THROUGH THEM. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A VERY DELIBERATE PROCESS. WE’RE GOING TO LISTEN AND LEARN FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE PRESENTED ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE. AT THE VERY EARLIEST, ACTION WOULD BE TAKEN WOULD BE AUGUST. BUT WE’LL BE VERY PUBLIC AND VERY CLEAR THAT IF ANY ACTION IS COMING, WHEN IT WILL BE PRESENTED FOR ACTION. SO THAT THERE’S NO– WE’RE GOING TO DO THIS VERY PUBLIC, VERY– PROVIDING INFORMATION TO PEOPLE ABOUT THAT. SO, AGAIN, NO ACTION UNTIL THE EARLIEST OF AUGUST. WITH THAT SAID, MARILYN WILL YOU PLEASE CALL THE FIRST PEOPLE TO TESTIFY, PLEASE.>>YES, YOU WILL HAVE THREE MINUTES. YOU WILL BE ABLE TO MONITOR IT ON HERE. IF YOU’VE BROUGHT SOMETHING WRITTEN, IF YOU WILL GIVE IT TO THE PERSON SEATED AT THE TABLE CLOSEST TO YOU, THEY’RE HAPPY TO PASS IT AROUND. THE BOARD DOES NOT ENGAGE IN A CONVERSATION, BUT THEY’RE HAPPY TO HEAR WHATEVER YOU’VE GOT TO SAY. I WILL TELL YOU WHO IS COMING TO THE TABLE AND I WILL TELL YOU WHO IS NEXT. IF I MISPRONOUNCE YOUR NAME, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CORRECT ME. I WOULD LOVE YOU TO CORRECT ME IF I DO THAT. OKAY,THE FIRST SPEAKER IS HOLLY WINDRUM, AND SHE IS COMING TO THE TABLE WITH A GROUP, AND SHE WILL INTRODUCE THEM. AND AFTER HOLLY, WE WILL HEAR FROM MARY BEANO.>>GOOD AFTERNOON, MY NAME IS HOLLY WINDRUM AND I’M THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WITH THE MICHIGAN EDUCATION CORPS. WE RUN THE READING CORPS HERE IN MICHIGAN. READING CORPS IS AN AMERICORPS PROGRAM, WE PROVIDE READING INTERVENTION TO CHILDREN AGE 3 TO GRADE 3 THROUGHOUT THE STATE. WE ARE PLANNING ON SERVING ABOUT 1,800 CHILDREN AGE 3 TO GRADE 3 THIS YEAR. THIS YEAR, WE WERE VERY GRATEFUL TO HAVE AN ALLOCATION IN THE STATE SCHOOL AID BUDGET AND SO TODAY I HAVE BROUGHT WITH YOU REPRESENTATIVES FROM ONE OF OUR SCHOOLS. BROWNELL STEM ACADEMY SERVES GRADES K-3 IN THE FLINT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT. AND TWO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE READING INTERVENTION. SO I’M GOING TO TURN OVER TO MISS DIAZ TO INTRODUCE HERSELF AND SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE WORK OF READING CORPS AT BROWNELL.>>HI, MY NAME IS CRYSTAL DIAZ. I’M THE STEM INTERVENTION TEACHER AT BROWNELL. I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE CHOSEN TO BE THE INTERNAL COACH FOR READING CORPS. AND WE HAD A GREAT READING CORPS TUTOR INSTALLED THIS YEAR. SHE’S WORKED REALLY HARD WITH THE KIDS. WE HAD THREE KIDS HAVE ALREADY EXITED THE PROGRAM. WE HAVE FIVE MORE THAT SHOULD EXIT BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR.>>TUTORS GENERALLY WORK WITH A CASELOAD OF ABOUT 15 TO 20 STUDENTS AT A TIME. AND A STUDENT EXITS WHEN, THROUGH THEIR WEEKLY PROGRESS MONITORING, THEY’VE MET AND EXCEEDED THEIR TARGETS FOR READING AT GRADE LEVELS. SO AT THIS TIME, I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE TWO YOUNG READERS TO YOU. CAN YOU TELL THEM YOUR NAME AND WHAT GRADE YOU ARE IN? WE’LL START WITH MICHAEL.>>MY NAME IS MICHAEL, AND I AM IN 2nd GRADE.>>MY NAME IS ALEAH AND I’M IN 2nd GRADE.>>MICHAEL IN 2nd GRADE AND ALEAH IN 2nd GRADE. AND DID YOU HAVE A READING TUTOR THIS YEAR?>>YES.>>AND WHAT KINDS OF THINGS DID YOUR TUTOR DO WITH YOU? ALEAH, WHY DON’T YOU START FIRST?>>SHE READS WITH US. WE DO SOUNDS FOR HER, AND POINT OUT WORDS.>>SHE READ WITH YOU. YOU DID SOUNDS WITH HER, AND SHE POINTED OUT WORDS. HOW ABOUT YOU MICHAEL?>>WE READ WITH HER. SHE TELLS US WHEN TO READ. WE SOUND OUT WORDS, AND IF WE DO GOOD, GET A COOKIE OR STICKER. [ LAUGHTER ]>>OH ALL RIGHT. SHE READ WITH US, SOUNDED OUT WORDS, SHE TIMED THEIR READING, AND DID THEY DID WELL THEY GOT A COOKIE OR A STICKER. I SEE YOU BROUGHT SOME BOOKS TODAY. WOULD YOU DO JUST A LITTLE BIT OF READING FOR US? ALEAH, WHY DON’T YOU START?>>MY BOOK THAT I’M READING IS CALLED THE STORY BOX. NICK WAS EATING SUPPER AT GRANDMA AND GRANDPA’S HOUSE. HE WAS GOING TO SPEND THE WHOLE WEEK THERE TOO. “HAVE SOME MILK IN YOUR SPECIAL LITTLE MUG,” SAID GRANDMA. I THINK ABOUT A WONDERFUL DAY LAST YEAR, WHEN WE WERE– GREAT GRANDPA WERE GOING ON A WHALE WATCH TOGETHER. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME WE HAD EVER BEEN OUT ON THE OCEAN, AND THEY SPOTTED THREE WHALES TOO.>>GREAT JOB. OKAY.>>MICHAEL, YOU WANT TO TELL US YOUR BOOK, AND READ ONE PAGE FOR US?>>TURTLE’S SMALL POND. ONCE A LONG TIME AGO, A TURTLE LIVED AND IN A LONG POND IN THE SUMMER. TURTLE PLAYED UNDER THE TALL TREE ON THE BANK WHEN HE WAS TIRED HE RESTED IN THE SUN. “THIS IS THE BEST POND IN THE WHOLE WORLD. TURTLE THOUGHT.” AND IT WAS.>>GREAT JOB. GIVE ME A HIGH FIVE. THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE. THANK YOU FOR READING THOSE. [ APPLAUSE ] [ LAUGHTER ]>>OUR NEXT SPEAKER IS MARY BEANO WHO WILL BE FOLLOWED BY TERESA SEVERY.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. MEMBERS OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, I AM MARY BEANO, HEALTH CONSULTANT FOR WASHTENAW COUNTY AND LIVINGSTON COUNTY. BOTH ISDs FOR WHICH I WORK, ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE OF SAFE AND INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS. I WORKED WITH OUR LOCAL DISTRICTS TO PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EVERY YEAR IN WAYS TO CREATE AND SUSTAIN SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS. AND EVERY YEAR, THESE SESSIONS ARE WELL ATTENDED. PROFESSIONAL LEARNING PLAYS A CRITICAL ROLE BY HELPING TEACHERS UNDERSTAND HOW A SAFE ENVIRONMENT POSITIVELY IMPACTS STUDENT LEARNING. LEADERS IN OUR AREA, LIKE GREG McCALLA, WHOM YOU ARE ABOUT TO HEAR FROM LATER THIS AFTERNOON, ARE FACED WITH SITUATIONS THAT REQUIRE THEM TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT HOW BEST TO SUPPORT THEIR STUDENTS. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THERE ARE RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS FOR THEM AND THEIR DISTRICTS AS THEY FACE THESE INCREASINGLY FREQUENT SITUATIONS. IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME TO LEARN WHETHER A SPECIFIC SITUATION MEETS TITLE 9 CRITERIA OR NOT. A SMALL AMOUNT OF GUIDANCE GOES A LONG WAY IN PREVENTING EXPENSIVE AND UNNECESSARY LITIGATION AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, PREVENTING UNDUE STRESS ON OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. WE BELIEVE WE NEED TO PROVIDE A SAFE AND INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL YOUTH, AND APPRECIATE ANY SUPPORT YOU CAN PROVIDE. THANK YOU.>>NEXT SPEAKER IS TERESA SEVERY, FOLLOWED BY SARAH JEROUS.>>I WAS GOING TO SAY GOOD MORNING, BUT THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO. MY NAME IS TERI SEVERRY, AND I AM A COUNSELOR IN DeWITT PUBLIC SCHOOLS, BUT I’M SPEAKING TO YOU IN THE CAPACITY AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE MICHIGAN SCHOOL COUNSELOR ASSOCIATION. I ALSO REPRESENT THE MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS, AND THE MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS. SO I’LL REFER TO US BY LETTERS. THAT MAKES MORE SENSE. BECAUSE I’LL TRIP OVER THEM EVENTUALLY. MASP, MSCA, AND MASSW, AS PARTICIPANTS IN THE MICHIGAN SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH COALITION SPEAK AS ONE VOICE IN SUPPORT OF THE MICHIGAN STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION DRAFT GUIDANCE DOCUMENT, SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUESTIONING STUDENTS. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS, SCHOOL COUNSELORS, AND SOCIAL WORKERS HAVE AN ETHICAL OBLIGATION TO ADVOCATE FOR AND AFFIRM LGBTQ STUDENTS. WE HAVE RESOURCES AND EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES TO MINIMIZE THE NEGATIVE STATISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH LGBTQ STUDENTS. WHILE OUR APPROACHES DIFFER SLIGHTLY, WE WORK IN HARMONY AND PARTNERSHIP TO HELP LGBTQ STUDENTS TO BE EMPOWERED AND SUPPORTED AND BECOME VISIBLE AND STRONG. RESEARCH CLEARLY IDENTIFIES LGBTQ YOUTH AS AT RISK FOR A NUMBER OF NEGATIVE OUTCOMES WHEN COMPARED TO YOUTH WHO ARE HETEROSEXUAL, YOUTH WHO IDENTIFY AS LGBTQ, OR THOSE WHO ARE GENDER NON-CONFORMING ARE MORE LIKELY TARGETED FOR HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN OVER 7,000 LGBTQ STUDENTS NATIONWIDE WERE SURVEYED REGARDING THEIR SCHOOL EXPERIENCES, 84% REPORTED BEING VERBALLY HARASSED, 40% REPORTED BEING PHYSICALLY HARASSED, AND 18% REPORTED BEING PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED AT SCHOOL WITHIN THE PAST YEAR BASED ON ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AND THE RESEARCH IS QUOTED. WHILE LGBTQ YOUTH APPEAR TO EXPERIENCE HIGHER LEVELS OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ACADEMIC DIFFICULTIES, SCHOOL-BASED SOCIAL SITUATIONS, LIKE VICTIMIZATION AND LACK OF SUPPORT, ARE FREQUENTLY RELATED TO THOSE HEIGHTENED RISK LEVELS. IT IS THUS IMPERATIVE THAT WE ASSIST MICHIGAN SCHOOLS IN ADOPTING AND IMPLEMENTING THIS SBE– EXCUSE ME– GUIDELINE WHICH WILL ENSURE THAT ALL STUDENTS RECEIVE A QUALITY EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND SUPPORT THEM IN STRIVING TO REACH THEIR POTENTIAL. AS MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, MOST OFTEN WE ARE THE FIRST-LINE INTERVENTION FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY. OH, THERE IS THE BELL. OUR WORK CENTERS ON HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE BECOME RESPONSIBLE AND RESPECTFUL, WHILE ALWAYS PROVIDING A PERSONAL SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL SAFE PLACE IN WHICH TO LEARN. THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS SUPPORTS THAT ALL YOUTH HAVE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN AND BENEFIT FROM EDUCATIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES WITHIN SCHOOLS, REGARDLESS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR GENDER EXPRESSION. THE SCHOOL SOCIAL WORK ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA ALSO RECOGNIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF A SAFE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS. THE INCREASED PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH RISKS FACED BY LGBTQ STUDENTS AND THEIR RIGHT TO ATTEND SCHOOL WITHOUT FEAR OF THREAT, HARASSMENT OR DENIAL OF THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS.>>I’M SORRY, MA’AM, WE NEED TO MOVE ON. I HAVE GOT OVER 90 PEOPLE–>>ALL RIGHT. THAT’S FINE. I NEED YOU TO HEAR US, AND I NEED YOU TO KNOW THAT SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS, SCHOOL COUNSELORS AND SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS SPEAK AS ONE VOICE IN SUPPORT OF LGBTQ. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>SARAH JEROUS FOLLOWED BY LAURENCE LEE.>>HERE?>>YES.>>WELL, AT THE END OF THE TABLE. SO WE CAN ALL SEE YOU. THERE YOU GO.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. THANK YOU. MY NAME IS SARAH JEROUS, I’M WITH THE MICHIGAN COALITION TO END SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE. THE COALITION IS DEDICATED TO THE EMPOWERMENT OF ALL SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE. AND OUR MISSION VERY GENERALLY IS TO DEVELOP AND PROMOTE EFFORTS AIMED AT THE ELIMINATION OF ALL DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN MICHIGAN. I WANT TO START BY SAYING TRANSGENDER DOES NOT EQUAL PERPETRATOR. AND THE INCLUSION OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE DOES NOT INCREASE THE RISK FOR SEXUAL VIOLENCE FOR ANYONE. AS A MATTER OF FACT IT ONLY DECREASES THEIR RISK. AS ADULTS, PARENTS, AND I’M PARENT OF THREE CHILDREN, EDUCATORS, LAWMAKERS AND ADVOCATES, WE HAVE NO GREATER RESPONSIBILITY THAN TO TAKE EVERY POSSIBLE MEASURE IN ENSURING THE HEALTH, SAFETY, WELL-BEING, AND SECURITY OF EVERY STUDENT IN EVERY SCHOOL, REGARDLESS. EXCUSE ME. REGARDLESS OF THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCE OR GENDER IDENTITY. LGBT– EXCUSE ME– LGBTQ YOUTH ARE MORE LIKELY THAN THEIR HETEROSEXUAL PEERS TO EXPERIENCE VIOLENCE, SPECIFICALLY SEXUAL VIOLENCE, BULLYING AND HARASSMENT. THESE SPECIFIC DANGEROUS AND TRAUMATIC FACTORS IN SCHOOL ARE THE FOUNDATION FOR PROVIDING EQUAL HEALTH AND SAFETY AMONG LGBTQ YOUTH IN SCHOOLS AND ENCOURAGING RESPECT FOR ALL CHILDREN AND STUDENTS. THE FACT IS, THE MAJORITY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN REST ROOMS IS TAKING PLACE IN REST ROOMS DESIGNATED AS MEN’S ROOMS RIGHT NOW, OR LABELED AS MEN’S ROOMS, AND IS TAKING PLACE BETWEEN HETEROSEXUAL MALES. SO A TRANSGENDER PERSON SHOULD BE ABLE TO SELECT THE RESTROOM THAT IS MOST APPROPRIATE, AND FEELS THE MOST SAFE FOR THEM, INCLUDING A GENDER NEUTRAL RESTROOM, OR A RESTROOM LABELED A FAMILY– EXCUSE ME, ALL-INCLUSIVE RESTROOM OR FACILITY MARKED AS A FAMILY RESTROOM. THE FACT IS RIGHT NOW, FAMILY REST ROOMS, PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT GENDERS AND DIFFERENT SEXUAL IDENTITIES ARE ALREADY USING THE SAME RESTROOM. ADDITIONAL STRESSES EXPERIENCED BY LGBTQ YOUTH SIMPLY FOR BEING LGBTQ ALSO PUT THEM AT GREATEST RISK FOR DEPRESSION, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, SUICIDE, AND SEXUAL BEHAVIORS THAT PUT THEM AT GREATER RISK. BEING IN FEAR OF BATHROOM INSPECTION AT SCHOOL SHOULD NOT BE AN ADDITIONAL CONCERN FOR LIMITATION TO THEIR QUALITY OF EDUCATION. OR IN THEIR EDUCATION AND THEIR SOCIAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. THIS IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT OF SAFETY, PRIVACY, AND RESPECT. TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ENTER THE RESTROOM FOR THE SAME PURPOSE AS EVERYONE ELSE. IT’S TO USE THE RESTROOM. AND THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO FEEL SAFE. AS PARENT OF A TEENAGE BOY AND TWO GIRLS AGES FIVE AND UNDER, MY PRIMARY COMMITMENT AND RESPONSIBILITY IS TO TEACH ALL THREE OF THEM, REGARDLESS OF THEIR OWN GENDER IDENTITY, GENERAL SAFETY AND AWARENESS IN ALL ENVIRONMENTS. IN ADDITION TO BASIC RESPECT FOR OTHERS, THAT IS NOT FOUNDED IN FEAR-BASED HOMOPHOBIA AND DISCRIMINATION, AND THAT IS REALLY THE FOUNDATION OF– EXCUSE ME– FEAR-BASED HOMOPHOBIA AND DISCRIMINATION REALLY IS THE BASIS OF THE ARGUMENT FOR INSPECTION IN BATHROOMS.>>I THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU.>>I REALLY FEEL BAD UP HERE. BECAUSE I REALLY WISH I COULD GIVE YOU ALL THE TIME EVERYONE WOULD LIKE. SO I APOLOGIZE. I FEEL– YOU KNOW. BUT I HAVE TO INTERRUPT PEOPLE– WE’RE ALREADY GOING TO BE HERE FIVE OR SIX HOURS AS IT IS, SO I APOLOGIZE. AND I KNOW THREE MINUTES GOES BY VERY QUICK.>>LAWRENCE LEE FOLLOWED BY JENNIFER AND ANDREW ROBINSON.>>ALL RIGHT. I’M GOING TO MAKE THIS FAST. HOPEFULLY YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING. THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON THE GUIDANCE DOCUMENT REGARDING SAFE SCHOOLS FOR LGBTQ STUDENTS. MY NAME IS LAWRENCE LEE AND I HAVE BEEN A K-12 EDUCATOR FOR 20 YEARS. CURRENTLY, I HELP SCHOOLS CONNECT STUDENTS TO SUPPORTS AND SERVICES THAT WILL PROVIDE THEM WITH SAFETY EVERY SINGLE DAY THEY ARE IN SCHOOL. ALSO, I STUDIED EDUCATION POLICY DURING MY DOCTORAL STUDIES AT MSU, WHERE I LEARNED HOW CRITICAL IT IS FOR LOCAL DISTRICTS TO RECEIVE SUPPORT WHEN CREATING POLICIES. I SPENT 12 YEARS IN THE CLASSROOM, WORKING MOSTLY IN ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL SETTINGS WITH STUDENTS WHO WERE NOT SUCCESSFUL IN TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS. I WORKED WITH STUDENTS WHO WERE HOMELESS, IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW, ADDICTED TO DRUGS, AND WHO WERE FAILING ALL OF THEIR CLASSES. I CARED FOR REFUGEE STUDENTS WHO COULDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH AND HAD WITNESSED UNIMAGINABLE VIOLENCE. I NURTURED STUDENTS WHO HAD BEEN KICKED OUT OF THEIR HOMES FOR BEING GAY. I WAS A CONSTANT CHEERLEADER FOR STUDENTS WHO DIDN’T FIT IN, AND WHO WERE OFTEN TORMENTED BY THEIR PEERS. THE COMMON DENOMINATOR OF ALL OF THESE STUDENTS AND ALL OF THE OTHERS THAT I DIDN’T MENTION, IS THAT THEY NEED AND DESERVE A SAFE SPACE IN WHICH TO LEARN. WE AS ADULTS IN THE COMMUNITY OWE IT TO THEM. THAT IS OUR JOB. THIS GUIDANCE DOCUMENT OFFERS SCHOOLS A STARTING POINT FOR PROVIDING SAFE PLACES IN WHICH LGBTQ STUDENTS CAN LEARN. IF WE LEAVE THESE RECOMMENDATION UNSAID, THEN IT BECOMES EASIER TO IGNORE, DISMISS AND DENY THE NEEDS OF SOME OF OUR MOST TARGETED VULNERABLE STUDENTS. THIS DOCUMENT OFFERS THE BEST THINKING ON ISSUES AROUND LGBT STUDENTS AND WHAT THEY ARE FACING. IT TAKES AWAY THE GUESSWORK AND MISINFORMATION THAT COULD EMERGE IF A DISTRICT STARTED FROM SCRATCH. THIS DOCUMENT LAYS A SOLID FOUNDATION. IT SUGGESTS PROTECTION FROM HARASSMENT, PROFESSIONAL LEARNING FOR ADULTS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND AND CONNECT WITH STUDENTS WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM THEM, THE ENGAGEMENT OF FAMILIES, RESPECT FOR ALL, COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA TO IDENTIFY AREAS THAT NEED IMPROVEMENT AND SO FORTH. RECENTLY I WORKED IN A HIGH SCHOOL WHERE THERE WAS A STUDENT WHO IDENTIFIED AS A FEMALE, EVEN THOUGH HER BIOLOGICAL SEX WAS MALE. BECAUSE SHE MIGHT BE SINGLED OUT FOR HER DIFFERENCES, ESPECIALLY SINCE SOME OF HER CLASSMATES KNEW HER AS A BOY IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, THE ADMINISTRATOR SCRAMBLED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO HANDLE HER SITUATION FROM A RECORD STANDPOINT. WHICH BATHROOM SHE SHOULD USE AND OTHER LOGISTICS THAT WOULD ENSURE HER SAFETY. THEY MEANT WELL. I BELIEVE MOST EDUCATORS WANT THE BEST FOR KIDS AND WANT TO KEEP THEM SAFE. BUT THEY MADE MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY REGARDING HER PRIVACY AND RIGHTS BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THIS TYPE OF SITUATION, NOR DID THEY HAVE ANY DIRECTION FROM THEIR DISTRICT. A DOCUMENT LIKE THE ONE YOU ARE CONSIDERING NOW WOULD HAVE BEEN A TREMENDOUS HELP. SOME GIRLS WERE UPSET BY THIS STUDENT USING THEIR BATHROOM SO THEY COMPLAINED TO A SECURITY OFFICER. THE OFFICER SAID THAT SHE UNDERSTOOD THEIR DISCOMFORT, BUT THEN SHE ASKED, “WHAT IF THE STUDENT YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT HAD TO USE THE BOYS BATHROOM?” “WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO HER?” THE GIRLS THOUGHT FOR A MINUTE, AND THEN DECIDED IT WAS OKAY FOR THE STUDENT TO STAY IN THEIR BATHROOM. THEY KNEW THAT SHE WOULD GET BEAT UP IN THE BOY’S ROOM. IF OUR STUDENTS CAN ADAPT TO, AND RESPECT DIFFERENCES, WHY CAN’T WE, AS ADULTS, DO THE SAME? PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT THIS GUIDANCE DOCUMENT MAKES IT INTO SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACROSS MICHIGAN TO HELP THEM CREATE POLICIES THAT PROTECT THEIR LGBTQ STUDENTS. A SCHOOL THAT STRIVES TO PROVIDE SAFETY FOR ITS MOST MARGINALIZED VULNERABLE STUDENTS IS ONE THAT IS SAFER FOR ALL STUDENTS. THAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>JENNIFER AND ANDREW ROBINSON, PLEASE. FOLLOWED BY TIM SMIG.>>MY NAME IS JENNIFER ROBINSON.>>I’M ANDREW ROBINSON.>>AND I AM A SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST FOR A PUBLIC SCHOOL IN MICHIGAN AND MY HUSBAND IS A TEACHER. BUT WE ARE HERE TODAY, NOT AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT, BUT AS PARENTS. OUR PURPOSE HERE IS TO EXPRESS OUR SUPPORT FOR THE PROPOSED GUIDELINES AND ALSO TO TELL YOU OUR STORY AND EXPLAIN HOW THE GUIDELINES WILL BE IMPACTING REAL FAMILIES THAT LIVE IN MICHIGAN. WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER NAMED GRACIE. SHE IS SMART, SHE IS FUNNY. SHE LOVES TO SING AND DANCE, AND ELSA IS HER FAVORITE CHARACTER. SHE ALSO HAPPENS TO BE TRANSGENDER. AND SHE BEGAN SHOWING US THAT SHE WAS A GIRL AS SOON AS SHE WAS OLD ENOUGH TO MAKE CHOICES AND TO CHOOSE WHAT CLOTHING TO WEAR, WHO TO HANG OUT WITH AND HOW WE REFERRED TO HER. SHE IS FOUR YEARS OLD NOW, AND IS MORE SURE OF HERSELF THAN EITHER ONE OF OUR OTHER BOYS WERE AT THEIR AGE. SHE IS VERY EXCITED TO BE STARTING KINDERGARTEN THIS FALL, BUT FOR US, AS PARENTS, THAT TRANSITION BRINGS A WHOLE NEW SET OF FEARS, AND EXPOSED HOW LITTLE WE ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT WHAT COMES NEXT FOR A STUDENT LIKE GRACIE. MANY PEOPLE WOULD SAY THAT THAT IS A NATURAL PART OF THE TRANSITION TO SCHOOL AND THAT MOST PARENTS WONDER WHAT THE SCHOOL YEARS WILL LOOK LIKE FOR THEIR CHILDREN. BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT WE’RE EDUCATORS. WE KNOW THE INS AND OUTS OF SCHOOLS. WE KNOW HOW SYSTEMS WORK. WHEN PARENTS AND STUDENTS HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT “WHAT IF?” AND “WHAT’S NEXT?” WE USUALLY HAVE THOSE ANSWERS. BUT EVEN THOUGH WE SPEND A COMBINED 100-PLUS HOURS A WEEK IN A SCHOOL SYSTEM, WHEN IT COMES TO GRACIE AND HER FUTURE, AND WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE IN SCHOOL, WE DON’T KNOW HOW THAT SYSTEM WILL SUPPORT HER. WE HAVE SPENT HOURS FINDING OUT HOW TO GET THE PAPERWORK TO REFLECT HER PREFERRED NAME AND NOW WHAT IS HER LEGAL NAME. WE’VE WORRIED FOR HOURS ON HOW THE SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL PROTECT HER AND KEEP HER SAFE. WE’VE THOUGHT ABOUT WHETHER SHE WILL BE FORCED TO PLAY ON BOYS’ SPORTS TEAMS, EVEN THOUGH SHE HAS IDENTIFIED AND LIVED PRACTICALLY HER ENTIRE LIFE AS A FEMALE. WE ANXIOUSLY DISCUSS THE UNANTICIPATED HURDLES THAT SHE’LL FACE JUST FOR BEING WHO SHE IS. SO FAR WE’VE BEEN REALLY LUCKY AND WE WORK WITH A STAFF THAT IS RECEPTIVE TO THE INFORMATION THAT WE’VE BROUGHT TO THEM. BUT THE POINT OF THAT SENTENCE IS THAT WE HAD TO BRING THE INFORMATION TO THEM. EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE AT LEAST FIVE OTHER STUDENTS WHO IDENTIFY AS TRANSGENDER IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM, THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WHERE SHE WILL BE ATTENDING KINDERGARTEN WAS NOT SURE HOW TO HANDLE THIS. THEY ARE MAKING A PRIORITY TO LEARN HOW TO BEST SUPPORT THEIR VERY FIRST OPENLY IDENTIFIED TRANSGENDER STUDENT. BUT WE REALIZE THAT WE HAVEN’T CONSIDERED EVERY SINGLE ISSUE THAT WE’LL ENCOUNTER. WE KNOW THAT NOT EVERY FAMILY IN MICHIGAN KNOWS WHAT QUESTIONS THAT SHOULD BE ASKED AND ANSWERED BECAUSE THEY DON’T SPEND EVERY SINGLE DAY IN A SCHOOL. AND WE SUSPECT THAT NOT EVERY SCHOOL IS AS SUPPORTIVE AS OURS HAS BEEN. THE PROPOSED RECOMMENDATIONS HERE TODAY, PROVIDE THE MUCH NEEDED GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS IN HOW TO CREATE SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS. NOT JUST FOR LGBTQ STUDENTS, BUT FOR ALL STUDENTS. IT GIVES THE MINIMUM STANDARD WITH REGARD TO HOW STUDENTS CAN SUPPORT AND RESPECT STUDENTS WITHIN THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT. IF THE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE ADOPTED, WE CAN SEND GRACIE TO SCHOOL, KNOWING THAT THE SCHOOL WILL LIKELY HAVE POLICIES IN PLACE TO PROTECT HER FROM HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE. WE CAN EXPECT THAT SHE WILL HAVE ACCESS TO GROUPS LIKE GSA, AND PLAY SPORTS WITH HER FEMALE FRIENDS, AND WE CAN BE ASSURED THAT THE SCHOOL WILL TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN IDENTIFYING AND OVERCOMING BARRIERS THAT SHE MAY FACE. WE CAN TRUST THAT SHE’LL GET THE SAME TREATMENT ACCESS TO EDUCATION THAT HER CISGENDERED BROTHERS HAVE. AND THAT’S ALL WE’RE ASKING. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU.>>TIM SMIG FOLLOWED BY DEBRA LINDNER.>>I HAVE MIKE REESE SITTING WITH ME. I’M TIM SMIG WITH THE MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS. I LIVE IN OWOSSO. I DO WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY OF BEING ABLE TO SPEAK TODAY. WHEN THE SCHOOL BOARD COMES UP WITH A POLICY THAT WOULD IN ESSENCE PROSELYTIZE FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. WHEN YOU SHOW A LACK OF TOLERANCE FOR PARENTS WITH LEGITIMATE CONCERNS ABOUT THE SAFETY OF THEIR CHILDREN, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. WHEN YOU PRACTICE CRITICAL THEORY, QUESTIONING SOCIETAL NORMS, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. WHEN YOU EMBRACE AN EVER-CHANGING SERIES OF POLITICAL EXPEDIENT GRIEVANCES, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. WHEN IN A FREE SOCIETY YOU WOULD PREFER THAT PARENTS KEEP THEIR HEADS DOWN AND THEIR MOUTHS SHUT ABOUT THE SAFETY OF THEIR CHILDREN, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. WHEN YOU TURN CLASSROOMS INTO ROOM 101 OF GEORGE ORWELL’S MINISTRY OF LOVE, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. WHEN TRUTH IS DEBATABLE, BUT NOT YOUR UNPROVEN THEORIES FOR SOCIAL ENGINEERING, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. WHEN YOU ASK FOR TOLERANCE, WHICH IS YOUR WEAKNESS, AND PRESENT IT AS A VIRTUE, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. I THINK ALL OF US SHOULD REALIZE THAT WE HAVE LIMITATIONS. AND WHEN YOU BELIEVE THAT BY FAITH, YOU HAVE A SOLUTION IN SEARCH OF A PROBLEM, YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR US. I AM THANKFUL THAT YOU HAD THIS OPPORTUNITY TO LET BOTH SIDES ADDRESS THE ISSUE, AND I WOULD ASK THAT YOU VERY CAREFULLY, CONSIDERATELY, CONSIDER THE COMMENTS THAT ARE AT THE WEBSITE, THE CONCERNS OF ALL OF THE PARENTS IN THE SCHOOLS, AND DO THE RIGHT THING. I SPEAK IN OPPOSITION TO THIS PROPOSAL THAT YOU HAVE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME TODAY.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>DEBORAH LINDNER IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY KATHERINE BONDY FESSLER.>>HELLO MY NAME IS DEBRA LIND LINDNER, AS A CHRISTIAN AND MOTHER OF THREE YOUNG CHILDREN, I TRY TO RAISE THEM THE RIGHT WAY. AND WHEN I HAVE MY DAUGHTER COMING TO ME ASKING ME WHY THEY WANT THE BOYS TO USE THE SAME RESTROOM AS HER, IT’S A VERY HARD SUBJECT FOR ME TO DISCUSS, BECAUSE WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO RAISE YOUR CHILDREN RIGHT, AND WANT THEM TO BE IN THEIR OWN SEPARATE BATHROOMS, WHEN YOU ARE TEACHING THEM THAT WAY AT HOME, AND THEN FOR THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL AND HAVE TO SHARE A BATHROOM, WHAT’S THE SITUATION OF SOMEONE PRETENDING THEY ARE A DIFFERENT GENDER AND GOING IN THERE, AND BULLYING THAT STUDENT THAT IS A DIFFERENT GENDER, NO MATTER WHAT, THEY ARE STILL GOING TO BE BULLYING. THEY ARE STILL GOING TO BE DIFFERENT. THERE IS REALLY NO STOPPING THEM EVEN IF THEY ARE USING THE SAME BATHROOMS AS OTHERS. SO WHEN I HAVE MY SIX YEAR OLD LOOKING AT ME AND SAYING THAT PEOPLE BULLY OTHER PEOPLE AND THERE IS NOTHING THEY CAN DO, IT’S NOT GOING TO STOP THE SITUATION, AND TO TEACH MY DAUGHTER THAT IT IS OKAY TO USE THE RESTROOM WHEN A GENTLEMEN IS IN THERE, IT’S WRONG. JUST LIKE I TEACH MY BOYS THAT IT’S WRONG FOR A LADY TO USE THE RESTROOM WHEN A BOY IS IN THIS THERE. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>KATHERINE BONDY FESSLER, FOLLOWED BY KATE FESSLER.>>THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK TODAY. MY NAME IS KATHERINE BONDY FESSLER, I’M A PEDIATRICIAN, AND I HAVE CARED FOR LGBTQ YOUTH IN MY PRACTICE FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS. I’M PLEASED TO SAY OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS, THINGS ARE LOOKING A LOT BETTER FOR LGBTQ YOUTH IN MICHIGAN, BUT EVERY SINGLE WEEK, A NEW YOUNG PERSON WALKS INTO MY PRACTICE AND TELLS ME STORIES OF HOW THEY ARE HARASSED, BULLIED, AND OFTEN PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED IN THEIR SCHOOL BUILDING. MOST OFTEN WHEN I ASK IF THEY REPORT THIS TREATMENT. THEY SAY NO. SOMEONE ONCE TOLD ME. “I DID TELL A TEACHER.” AND SHE SAID SHE WAS AFRAID SHE WOULD GET IN TROUBLE IF SHE HELPED THIS YOUNG PERSON. WHILE WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS, WE’RE NOT THERE YET. ANOTHER PIECE OF MY JOB INVOLVES FREQUENT CONTACT I GET FROM MICHIGAN SCHOOL DISTRICTS. THEY HAVE A STUDENT IN THEIR SCHOOL– SOMETIMES IT’S MY PATIENT, AND SOMETIMES IT’S NOT, AND THEY ARE LOOKING FOR SOME GUIDANCE FROM ME. HOW TO HANDLE THE SITUATION WITH THE STUDENT. AND IT’S THOSE INSTANCES THAT MAKE IT VERY CLEAR TO ME THAT THE GUIDANCE THAT YOU ARE CONSIDERING TODAY IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. TEACHERS ARE CALLING PEDIATRICIANS AND SAYING “HELP ME FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH THIS YOUTH IN MY SCHOOL.” IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO SAY THAT WE NEED TO HAVE PROTECTIONS FOR ALL STUDENTS, BECAUSE WE ABSOLUTELY DO, BUT WE NEED TO HAVE SPECIAL, IF YOU WILL, PROTECTIONS FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE OF OUR YOUTH. I WON’T REPEAT THE STATISTICS ABOUT THE RISKS THAT LGBTQ YOUTH, ESPECIALLY TRANSGENDER YOUTH FACE, BECAUSE I THINK YOU KNOW THEM. BUT THEY REALLY ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE KIDS IN OUR BUILDINGS. I AM NOT SPEAKING OFFICIALLY ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS, BUT, THEY DID WRITE A LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS. SO FOR ANYONE WHO WASN’T AWARE, THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS REPRESENT 64,000 PEDIATRICIANS– MOST PEDIATRICIANS IN THE UNITED STATES. THERE IS ANOTHER PEDIATRIC ORGANIZATION THAT REPRESENTS 200 PEDIATRICIANS, AND IF YOU READ THE COMMENTS ON THE WEBSITE, THAT ORGANIZATION IS BEING QUOTED QUITE FREQUENTLY. THAT’S NOT A AN ORGANIZATION THAT SPEAKS FOR ME OR MOST LIKELY THE PEDIATRICIAN THAT CARES FOR YOUR CHILDREN. I AM A MOTHER. I HAVE THREE GRADUATES OF MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND I WAS GOING TO SAY UNFORTUNATELY I HAVE A SIX YEAR OLD, BUT POOR LITTLE GUY– I HAVE A LOT OF YEARS LEFT IN THE MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND SHOULD ANY OF MY CHILDREN NEED THESE PROTECTIONS, I SURE HOPE THEY ARE IN PLACE. I THANK YOU AGAIN FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCES WITH YOU, AND TO GIVE MY PATIENTS THROUGH ME, A VOICE. PLEASE, THEY NEED YOUR HELP. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>KATE FESLER IS NEXT. FOLLOWED BY RICHARD FESSLER.>>HI, EVERYBODY. MY NAME’S KATE. I’M 19. I ATTENDED MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOL FROM KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12th GRADE. I HAVE STRUGGLED WITH MY SEXUALITY FROM THE TIME I WAS 12. WHEN I CONFIDED TO MY BEST FRIEND THAT I THOUGHT I MAY BE GAY, SHE TURNED AROUND AND TOLD THE ENTIRE EIGHTH GRADE. AND BY THE END OF THE YEAR, ONLY ONE OF MY FELLOW CLASSMATES WAS SPEAKING TO ME. THERE WERE SEVERAL TEACHERS WHO WERE AWARE OF WHAT WAS GOING ON, BUT I BELIEVE THEY WERE SO POORLY EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH MY ISOLATION, THAT THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. AND I WENT THROUGH THIS ORDEAL ALONE. NEVER LET IT BE SAID THAT COMING OUT, EVEN JUST TO YOURSELF, IS NOT AN ANGUISHED PROCESS. NONE OF US CHOOSE THIS FOR OURSELVES. BUT IF WE COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE TRAJECTORY OF OUR LIVES AS LGBTQ YOUTH, IT WOULDN’T BE OUR ORIENTATION. IT WOULD BE THE RESPONSES WE RECEIVE TO IT. THE SUPPORT OF EVEN ONE PERSON. ONE ADULT WHO WE LOOK UP TO AND RELY UPON TO CARE FOR AND PROTECT US CAN MAKE ALL OF THE DIFFERENCE. SOMETIMES THAT DIFFERENCE IS LITERALLY BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH. MY SENIOR YEAR AN EDITORIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE SCHOOL NEWSPAPER. IN IT, A FELLOW STUDENT, WHO I KNEW QUITE WELL, WROTE ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE. SHE OPPOSED IT’S LEGALIZATION AND EQUATED BEING GAY TO BEING A MURDERER. SHE WASN’T AT SCHOOL WHEN THE PAPER CAME OUT, BUT I WAS AND I WILL NEVER FORGET THE IMPACT IT HAD ON ME. I WAS ONE OF ONLY A VERY FEW OPENLY GAY KIDS AT MY LARGE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL AND WAS, THEREFORE, EASILY TARGETED THROUGHOUT THE DAY AS PEOPLE CAME UP WITH QUESTIONS, DERISIVE COMMENTS AND QUITE A FEW GAY SLURS. I HAD ONE TEACHER, MR. SIVALDI, WHO GOT ME THROUGH THAT YEAR. HIS CLASSROOM WAS A REFUGE. A SAFE SPACE. AND THE THING IS THAT I FELT LUCKY JUST TO HAVE THAT ONE PLACE, BECAUSE I KNEW THAT SO MANY LGBTQ STUDENTS DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THAT. BUT I SHOULD HAVE HAD THE RIGHT TO FEEL SAFE IN EVERY CLASSROOM I STEPPED FOOT IN. I SHOULDN’T HAVE HAD TO BE SCARED OF MY PEERS AND TEACHERS TREATING ME DIFFERENTLY FOR WHO I AM. NO STUDENT SHOULD. WE ARE GOOD KIDS, AND WE’RE GOOD STUDENTS, AND EVERY TEACHER, ADMINISTRATOR, AND SCHOOL COUNSELOR HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DO FOR THEIR STUDENTS WHAT MR. SIVALDI DID FOR ME. PLEASE DON’T LET THAT OPPORTUNITY GO TO WASTE.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>RICHARD FESSLER IS NEXT. FOLLOWED BY DOUGLAS LAVEK.>>HELLO, I’M RICHARD, AND I ATTENDED MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS ALL THE WAY UP THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL. AND ONE OF MY MOST PROMINENT MEMORIES FROM MY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WERE A SERIES OF POSTERS THAT WE HAD IN ALL OF THE CLASSROOMS THAT LISTED CORE DEMOCRATIC VALUES. WE WERE TAUGHT– THEY WERE THINGS LIKE JUSTICE, PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, AND EQUALITY. AND WE WERE TAUGHT THESE TRUTHS ARE SELF-EVIDENT. AND THAT ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL. AND THE GUIDANCE IN FRONT OF YOU TODAY IS A REALLY IMPORTANT STEP TO MAKING SURE THAT ALL OF THESE VALUES ARE EXTENDED TO ALL KIDS IN MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. RIGHT NOW WE HAVE CHILDREN WHO GO TO THOSE CLASSROOMS AND THEY LOOK UP AT THOSE POSTERS AND THEY KNOW THOSE VALUES DON’T APPLY TO THEM, AND THEY FEEL LEFT OUT. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS GUIDANCE, AND HELP PROMOTE EQUALLY SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR ALL OF MICHIGAN’S KIDS. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>DOUGLAS LAVEK, FOLLOWED BY MICHELLE FOX PHILLIPS.>>MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, I HAVE LISTENED ALL MORNING TO ALL OF THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH. THERE ARE A LOT OF ISSUES THERE. I’M DOUG LAVEK, AND I’M THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF THE BIBLE NATION SOCIETY. I’VE BEEN AROUND FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS HERE IN MICHIGAN. I HAVE PASTORED FOR 25 YEARS, AND BEEN INVOLVED IN EDUCATION IN MY COMMUNITY. I WILL BE RUNNING FOR THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION THIS FALL, AND HOPE TO JOIN YOU AT THIS TABLE TO TACKLE THESE DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. I REPRESENT AT THE BIBLE NATION SOCIETY, 16,000 CHURCHES NATIONWIDE, 1500 CHURCHES IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, ALONG WITH NUMEROUS TEACHERS AND STUDENTS AND COMMUNITIES. I WOULD LIKE TO NOTE THAT THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE HERE, AND HUNDREDS OUTSIDE THAT HAVE COME TO STATE THEIR OPPOSITION TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THIS PARTICULAR POLICY. NOT ALL WERE ABLE TO GET IN THE BUILDING. NOT ALL WERE ABLE TO SPEAK TODAY. BUT THEY ARE A REPRESENTATION OF PEOPLE AROUND THE STATE THAT ARE IN OPPOSITION TO THIS, AND WE DO OPPOSE THIS. OUR LEGISLATOR SPOKE EARLIER TODAY ABOUT WHERE DID THIS COME FROM? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IT? WHERE IS THE THINKING? I BELIEVE THAT IF YOU LOOK INTO THE THINKING, IT GOES FURTHER BACK AND BEYOND EVEN JUST OUR NATIONAL DIALOGUE. IT GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AND UNESCO. THEY HAVE BEEN TALKING FOR YEARS, IN THEIR EDUCATION WING, ABOUT HAVING UNIVERSAL ITS, AND TRANSGENDERS AND GIVING THEM RIGHTS. AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO DIVE INTO WHERE ARE YOU GETTING YOUR RHETORIC? AND WHERE ARE YOU GETTING YOUR STRATEGY? BECAUSE I’M NOT SURE THAT YOU REALLY KNOW HOW DEEP THIS REALLY GOES, AND HOW IT UNDERMINES STATE SOVEREIGNTY AND PARENTAL RIGHTS. THE STATE OF MICHIGAN HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN A GREAT STATE FOR EDUCATIONAL LIBERTY AND PARENTAL RIGHTS. I MEAN WE HAVE BEEN AT THE TOP OF THE LIST. AND WE APPRECIATE THAT. AND I WANT THAT TO CONTINUE. THESE LGBT POLICIES AND IDEALS, AND ANALYSIS THAT YOU’VE HEARD TODAY. WE DO NOT CONCUR WITH AND WE DO NOT AGREE WITH. THERE IS THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PEDIATRICIANS WHO HAVE SAID THAT THESE POLICIES, TALKING ABOUT GENDER IDENTITY, THEY KIND OF PANDER CONFUSION. WHEN CHILDREN ARE GOING THROUGH PUBERTY, IT IS NOT GENDER IDENTITY. AND MOST OF THEM THAT DO MAKE DECISIONS TO HAVE HORMONE CHANGES OR SURGERIES, REGRET THAT AND COME BACK. ABOUT 95% OF BOYS AND 88% OF GIRLS COME BACK TO THEIR ORIGINAL, BORN GENDER. SO THEY SAID THAT BY PROFFERING THIS, WE’RE ACTUALLY PUSHING A FORM OF CHILD ABUSE, AND THAT’S THEIR WORDS, NOT MINE. SO WHERE THIS COMES FROM, AND THE DEFINITIONS THAT WE’RE LISTENING TO, RECOGNIZE THAT FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, 85– AND 85% OF MICHIGANDERS, IDENTIFY WITH TRADITIONAL, CHRISTIAN AND BIBLICAL CULTURE. AND I’M HERE TO ADVOCATE FOR THAT. AND SO WHAT YOU CALL LGBTQ, WE CALL IMMORAL. THE BIBLE CALLS IT SODOMY. IF THAT’S BULLYING THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN ALL CHRISTIANS ARE ALIENATED, AND YOU NOW, ARE KIND OF PICKING ON US. SO WE OPPOSE THIS, WE ASK YOU TO CONSIDER THIS, VOTE NO. THIS IS A POLITICAL ISSUE. IT DOESN’T REALLY HELP ALL OF THE OTHERS THAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. I WISH YOU WELL. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>MICHELLE FOX PHILIPS IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY ISABEL FESZLER.>>FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME HERE. MY NAME IS MICHELLE FOX PHILLIPS, AND I’M TRANSGENDER. AND I REPRESENT THE GENDER IDENTITY NETWORK ALLIANCE BASED OUT OF DETROIT, MICHIGAN. THESE GUIDELINES ARE VOLUNTEER. NOBODY IS FORCING THIS ON TO ANY SCHOOL SYSTEM ANYWHERE IN THE STATE. THESE ARE JUST GUIDELINES, WHICH IS SORELY NEEDED BECAUSE THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY AND THE STUDENTS ARE IN GREAT HARM. THERE WAS AN ISSUE– I HAVE LISTENED TO SOME OF THE COMMENTS THAT WAS MADE LAST WEEK, AND A LOT OF IT WAS BROUGHT UP ABOUT CHANGING THE NAME. OKAY. WITHOUT THE PARENT’S PERMISSION. OKAY. KIDS DO THIS BECAUSE OF FEAR OF BEING KICKED OUT. AND THERE IS A HUGE HOMELESS YOUTH HERE IN MICHIGAN BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN KICKED OUT BECAUSE THEY’RE GAY OR TRANSGENDER. CHANGING THEIR NAME LEGALLY, THEY CAN GET THEIR SCHOOL RECORDS CHANGED, BUT IF THEY WANT TO JUST HAVE THEIR NAME CALLED ON HOW THEY IDENTIFY, THAT IS IMPORTANT. USING REST ROOMS AND LOCKER ROOMS IS IMPORTANT FOR THEM, AND IT’S NOT TO SINGLE THEM OUT LIKE, OH, YOU CAN GO TO THIS BATHROOM HERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SCHOOL. I HAVE FACILITATED YOUTH GROUPS AND ADULT GROUPS IN THE TRANS-POPULATION AND A LOT OF PEOPLE, AND A LOT OF YOUTH HAVE TOLD ME, VERY SIMPLY, THAT THEY HOLD IT BECAUSE THEY ARE SINGLED OUT AND HAVE TO USE A CERTAIN BATHROOM. SO THEY HOLD IT. AND I HEAR IT FROM THE PARENTS, AND THEY JUST LEARN FROM THEIR KIDS. OH, MY. THEY HOLD IT FOR EIGHT HOURS IN SCHOOL? AND THEN THEY HAVE TO RUSH HOME TO GO TO THE RESTROOM. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. KIDS NEED TO BE SAFE AS THEY GO TO SCHOOL. I URGE YOU TO PASS THESE GUIDELINES FOR THE SAFETY OF THE SCHOOLS, THE SAFETY OF THE TEACHERS, AND MOST IMPORTANT, SAFETY FOR THE LGBTQ STUDENTS. EARLIER TODAY, IT WAS MADE OUT OF 175 RESPONDENTS, OF TRANS AND GENDER NONCONFORMING STUDENTS, 84% REPORTED BEING HARASSED. 44% WERE ASSAULTED. AND SEXUAL ASSAULTS WERE 10%. THIS CANNOT BE. WE SEND OUR KIDS TO SCHOOL TO BE SAFE, TO LEARN, AND TO BE THEMSELVES THEIR AUTHENTIC SELVES. WITH THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>ISABEL FESSLER IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY JAY MADDOCK. YOU CAN SIT AT THE TABLE IF YOU WANT TO.>>THANK YOU.>>MY NAME IS ISABEL, I’M 13, AND I GO TO MICH– MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I AM BULLIED EVERY DAY, AND SHOVED UP AGAINST THE LOCKERS FOR WEARING A RAINBOW BUTTON ON MY BACKPACK. I CAN’T IMAGINE WHAT IT IS LIKE FOR THE OPENLY LGBTQ YOUTH IN MY SCHOOLS OF– IF I’M BULLIED FOR JUST WEARING A RAINBOW PEN. THESE GUIDELINES WILL MAKE EVERYBODY FEEL SAFER IN SCHOOL. THESE GUIDELINES WILL BE A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF MAKING EVERYBODY FEEL SAFE IN SCHOOL. AND– I CAN’T TALK ANYMORE.>>THAT’S OK. JUST SAY THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE.>>JAY MADDOCK IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY MICHAEL REESE.>>GOOD AFTERNOON, MY NAME IS JAY MADDOCK, I AM FROM KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN WHERE I HAVE THE HONOR OF SERVING AS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE KALAMAZOO GAY LESBIAN RESOURCE CENTER. PRIOR TO MY ROLE AT THE RESOURCE CENTER, THOUGH, I WAS ONCE A TEEN IN ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN WHERE I ATTENDED MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL. IN MIDDLE SCHOOL I WAS A STRAIGHT A STUDENT, AND MY PARENTS AND I ASSUMED THAT WOULD CONTINUE IN HIGH SCHOOL. MAYBE PULLING OUT A B PLUS IN ALGEBRA. MATH NEVER DID ADD UP. AND UNFORTUNATELY WHEN I GOT TO HIGH SCHOOL, I BECAME A C AND D STUDENT. I KNEW I WAS TRANS. AND I DID NOT FEEL SAFE COMING OUT. AND THE TAXING COST OF BECOMING SOMEONE WHO I WASN’T, AND KEEPING THAT CHARADE UP TO MYSELF AND OTHERS, EXHAUSTED ME BOTH EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY. I STARTED SKIPPING SCHOOL, BECAUSE I DIDN’T FEEL SAFE IN SCHOOL. WHEN I WAS PHYSICALLY PRESENT, I WAS ALSO ABSENT. I COULDN’T FOCUS ON CLASS, BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID OF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN BETWEEN CLASSES. AND AT 17, I ATTEMPTED SUICIDE, AND THIS IS NOT JUST ME. 42% OF TRANSGENDER ADULTS REPORT HAVING ATTEMPTED SUICIDE AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIFE. AND THIS NARRATIVE OF ME BEGINNING TO FAIL AS A STUDENT IS ALSO NOT JUST MY SOLE EXPERIENCE. UNFORTUNATELY, MANY LGBT STUDENTS END UP SKIPPING SCHOOL. THEY ARE 2 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO SKIP SCHOOL THAN THEIR HETEROSEXUAL PEERS. 33% OF LGBT STUDENTS WERE PHYSICALLY HARASSED IN JUST THE PAST YEAR, BECAUSE OF THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER IDENTITY. 56% OF LGBT STUDENTS REPORTED PERSONALLY EXPERIENCING LGBT RELATED DISCRIMINATORY POLICIES OR PRACTICES AT SCHOOL. I COULD BORE YOU WITH MORE STATISTICS, BUT I ALREADY SEE THE EYES GLAZING OVER, SO I’LL CONTINUE WITH MY ROLE NOW. I GET TO WORK, ON A REGULAR BASIS WITH LGBT YOUTH, AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, I HEAR THEM SAY THAT THEY DON’T SEE THEMSELVES FINISHING SCHOOL. THEY DON’T SEE THEMSELVES BECOMING SUCCESSFUL ADULTS, BECAUSE THEY HEAR WHAT ADULTS ARE SAYING ABOUT THEM, AND SO DO THEIR PEERS, AND THAT IS IMPACTING THEIR SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT. I ALSO HAVE THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY OF WORKING WITH SCHOOLS IN KALAMAZOO COUNTY AND TRAINING SCHOOLS, AND AGAIN AND AGAIN I HEAR SCHOOLS ASK ME FOR GUIDANCE. THEY ARE LOOKING FOR THIS GUIDANCE. THEY ARE LOOKING TO YOU TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEY CAN MAKE A MORE ACCEPTING AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS IN THEIR SCHOOLS. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THE EXPERIENCES WE HAVE IN SCHOOL BUILD FOUNDATIONS FOR OUR FUTURE. AND SCHOOLS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO CREATE SAFE AND AFFIRMING LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR ALL OF OUR STUDENTS, SO THAT THEY MIGHT THRIVE AND FULFILL THE HIGHEST OF THEIR POTENTIAL. WHEN A GROUP OF STUDENTS ARE EXPERIENCING DISPARITIES IN THEIR ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION, IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO RESPOND. WHEN STUDENTS AND TEACHERS RECEIVE STATE-SANCTIONED GUIDELINES, THAT OFFER PROTECTIONS FOR LGBT STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR LGBT STUDENTS WILL BE GREATLY IMPROVED BECAUSE STUDENTS CANNOT LEARN IF THEY AREN’T IN SCHOOL AND IF THEY AREN’T IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT THAT PROTECTS LGBT STUDENTS FROM HARASSMENT. SO IT’S PARAMOUNT AND NECESSARY FOR US TO PASS THESE GUIDELINES. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>MICHAEL REESE, FOLLOWED BY DAVID JAY LAYCOX, SR.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS MIKE REESE, I’M HERE REPRESENTING A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE MOUNT PLEASANT AREA. I ALSO REPRESENT A MUCH LARGER GROUP OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE STATE WHO HAVE COME HERE TODAY TO EXPRESS OUR VIEW ON PROPOSED GUIDANCE TO SUPPORT TRANSGENDER AND GENDER NONCONFORMING STUDENTS. FINALLY, I STAND IN SOLIDARITY FOR THE THOUSANDS OF CITIZENS OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN WHO HAVE EXPRESSED THEIR OPPOSITION TO THIS PROPOSED GUIDANCE ON THE EVERY VOICE COUNTS WEBSITE. WE ARE HERE TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR TODAY THAT WE DO NOT IN ANY WAY SUPPORT BULLYING. BUT WE ALSO WANT TO MAKE IT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT WE VERY STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS GUIDANCE. WE ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF MICHIGAN CITIZENS OPPOSE THIS GUIDANCE AS WELL. MY CONVERSATION WITH MANY CONCERNED CITIZENS, IT HAS BECOME VERY CLEAR THAT WHILE THE AVERAGE MICHIGAN CITIZEN PROBABLY DOES NOT CARE WHAT CONSENTING ADULTS DO IN THEIR BEDROOMS, HE OR SHE DOES NOT WANT AN 18 YEAR OLD BIOLOGICAL MALE IN THE BATHROOM WITH HIS 16 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. THE CITIZENS OF MICHIGAN ARE APPALLED THAT SUCH A GUIDANCE WOULD EVEN BE CONSIDERED, LET ALONE PROMOTED BY THIS BOARD. STATISTICS TELL US THAT PEOPLE IDENTIFYING AS TRANSGENDER MAKE UP .03% OF THE POPULATION. PEOPLE ARE WONDERING WHY THIS BOARD WOULD CONSIDER SACRIFICING THE SAFETY AND PRIVACY OF THE 99.7% FOR THE FEELINGS OF THE .03%. IT’S ALREADY BEEN PROVEN MANY TIMES OVER THAT SEXUAL PREDATORS USE THESE TYPES OF POLICIES AND LAWS TO PREY UPON WOMEN. THE PROPOSED GUIDANCE STATES THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING A STUDENT’S GENDER IDENTITY RESTS WITH THE STUDENT. OUTSIDE CONFIRMATION FROM MEDICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IS NOT NEEDED. UNDER THIS GUIDANCE A SEXUAL PREDATOR CAN, ON ANY GIVEN DAY, DECLARE THAT HE IDENTIFIES AS FEMALE WITHOUT ANYONE BEING ALLOWED TO QUESTION IT. BECAUSE QUESTIONING ANOTHER’S GENDER IDENTITY WOULD BE AN ANATHEMA. HE CAN THEN WALK INTO ANY WOMEN’S RESTROOM OR LOCKER ROOM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL AND DO GOD KNOWS WHAT. HOW WILL YOU, AS A BOARD, GOING TO EXPLAIN THIS GUIDANCE TO HIS VICTIMS AND THEIR PARENTS? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO EXPLAIN TO THE VICTIMS THAT FOSTERING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR TRANSGENDER STUDENTS WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THEIR SAFETY? NO FEMALE OF ANY AGE SHOULD EVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A BIOLOGICAL MALE BEING IN THE BATHROOM, LOCKER ROOM OR SHOWERING FACILITIES WITH HER. NO FEMALE SHOULD HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT EXPOSING HERSELF TO A BIOLOGICAL MALE, OR WORRYING ABOUT BEING EXPOSED TO A BIOLOGICAL MALE REGARDLESS OF HIS GENDER IDENTITY. THE GUIDANCE STATES THAT ANY STUDENT CONCERNED WITH PRIVACY MAY USE A SINGLE-USE FACILITY, BUT MY QUESTION IS WHY SHOULD THEY HAVE TO? WHY SHOULD THOSE WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT PRIVACY AND SAFETY, MADE TO FEEL AS THOUGH THEY ARE SOMEHOW UNUSUAL? I WOULD LIKE TO RESPECTFULLY REMIND THE BOARD THAT AS THE PARENTS OF THE CITIZENS OF MICHIGAN WHO ARE PAYING YOUR PAYCHECK. YOU WORK FOR THE EVERY DAY NORMAL CITIZENS OF MICHIGAN, AND THEY ARE VASTLY OPPOSED TO THIS. I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO YOU, THAT IF THIS IS PUSHED THROUGH, THERE WILL BE PUSH BACK. AND IT WILL BE PUSH BACK AT THE POLLS, AND WE’LL START WITH MR. AUSTIN AND MRS. STRAUS.>>THANK YOU.>>DAVID LJ LACOCK, SR. OLLOWED BY BILL WISENER. IS DAVID LJ LACOCK HERE? OKAY. I’M MOVING ON. BILL WISENER? WISENER, THANK YOU. DENNIS CARGAL. I NEED ALL OF THE HELP I CAN GET. [ LAUGHTER ]>>HI, I’M BILL WISENER, I’M THE FOUNDER OF TCFAMILY.ORG. IT’S A PRO FAMILY GROUP. WE HAVE BEEN SHOWING VIDEOS IN TEN COUNTIES IN NORTHWEST MICHIGAN FOR THE LAST SIX OR SEVEN YEARS. AND YOU CAN SEE OUR MOST RECENT ONE. IT’S CALLED AUDACITY, LOVE CAN’T STAY SILENT. IT’S ON THE HOMOSEXUAL ISSUE. IT’S DONE VERY WELL. COMPASSIONATE. SHARING THE TRUTH IN LOVE. YOU CAN WATCH OUR VIDEOS IF YOU GO TO TCFAMILY.ORG. OR UPLOAD A PDF ALSO. THERE’S REALLY TWO SIDES TO THIS ISSUE. THERE’S THE GOD-INTENDED ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN, MARRIAGE THAT HAS BEEN WITH US FOR 5,000 YEARS. AND THEN THERE’S– THE OTHER SIDE IS SEXUAL FREEDOM. IT INCLUDES FORNICATION BEFORE MARRIAGE, WHICH I WAS IN PART OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION, I FELL FOR A LOT OF THAT STUFF. ADULTERY OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE, HOMOSEXUALITY, AND ALL THOSE. ONE OF THEM IS LIKE A WARM FIRE. YOU CAN COOK BY IT. YOU CAN WARM YOURSELF BY IT. IT’S A CONTROLLED FIRE. THE OTHER IS MORE LIKE A FOREST FIRE, AND IT’S UNCONTROLLABLE IN A SENSE, AND CAUSES MUCH PAIN WITH– YOU KNOW, PEOPLE LIVING SEPARATE, NOT MARRIED, OR– ANYWAY, MOVING ON HERE. TCAPS IS– TRAVERSE CITY AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I’M GONNA HAVE TO REALLY MOVE ON I CAN SEE. THEY HAVE TWO RULES. FIRST ONE IS SAFETY IS NUMBER ONE. PARAMOUNT. THE SECOND ONE IS– IT’S IN THEIR MANUALS, FALSIFICATION, LYING AND CHEATING IS UNACCEPTABLE. BOTH OF THESE RULES ARE BOOK. WITH THIS, THE SAFETY– BY OXFORD STUDY, HOMOSEXUAL MALES ESPECIALLY LOSE 8 TO 20 YEARS OFF OF THEIR LIFE. 94%-95% OF NEW AIDS CASES COME FROM– IN 13 TO 24 YEAR OLD YOUNG MEN, COME FROM HOMOSEXUAL MALES. SUICIDE RATE IN SWEDEN, LGBT-AFFIRMING SWEDEN IS LIKE 10 TIMES THE NORMAL. IT’S NOT RELATED TO PEOPLE BOWLING. I HAVE GOT HANDOUTS FOR YOU. THE FIRST ONE IS ONE THAT WE’VE– IT’S FROM MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY 2016. MICHAEL MOORE IS PROMOTING HOMOSEXUALITY. THEY USE MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY TO PROMOTE HOMOSEXUALITY. BUT MARTIN LUTHER KING IN A LETTER TO EBONY MAGAZINE, 1958, HE SAW HOMOSEXUALITY AS A CULTURAL ACQUIRED PROBLEM IN NEED OF A SOLUTION, A HABIT STEMMING FROM A SERIES OF NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES. THE SECOND HANDOUT IS AN OPEN LETTER TO BILL MAHER. YOU CAN SEE IT ON OUR WEBSITE. IT IS BASICALLY THE HISTORY OF USING DECEPTION THROUGH THE HOMOSEXUAL MOVEMENT. AND THE THIRD HAS THREE PARTS– THE REAL CAUSE OF HOMOSEXUAL DESIRE. THE FRAUDULENT STUDIES OF THE APA, AND THE KENZIE FRAUD TOO. I’M OUT OF TIME. SO THERE’S MUCH MORE ON OUR WEBSITE, AND I URGE YOU TO VOTE NO ON THIS. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>DENNIS CARGOL, FOLLOWED BY AUSTIN CRETE.>>WE CAME TO LIVE IN A SOCIETY TODAY WHICH SUSTAINS SCIENCE. IN AMERICA EVERY BABY THAT IS BORN IS EXAMINED BY A DOCTOR, AND AT THAT TIME THE DOCTOR DETERMINES THE SEX OF THAT BABY. IT’S WRITTEN DOWN ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE, AND IT’S A KNOWN COMMODITY. TODAY WE ALSO CONSIDER THE FEELINGS OF PEOPLE, HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THEIR OWN SEXUALITY, AND THAT’S A GOOD THING. WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED. HOWEVER, WE NEED TO ALSO NOTE THAT WE HAVE GONE FROM AN OBJECT– AN OBJECTIVITY, TO A SUBJECTIVITY. SUBJECTIVITY IS SOMETHING THAT IS NEBULOUS AND ILL DEFINED. SO WHAT ARE WE TO DO? NOW IF– IF YOU GO AHEAD AND PASS THIS SITUATION WITH THE BATHROOMS IN OUR SCHOOLS, IT’S GOING TO SPREAD OUT TO OTHER AREAS AS WELL, TO BATHROOMS IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS. IN REST AREAS ALONG HIGHWAYS. IT COULD EVEN GET INTO SPORTS. WHAT IF A– A BIOLOGICAL MALE WANTS TO ENTER INTO THE LOCKER ROOM OF GIRLS INVOLVED IN SPORTS? IF THAT’S THE CASE, I PREDICT THAT MANY GIRLS WILL LEAVE SPORTS AND THE PROGRESS THAT HAS BEEN MADE OVER DECADES FOR GIRLS’ SPORTS WILL BE WASHED AWAY. SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO? HOW SHOULD WE TREAT THE LGBT COMMUNITY? NUMBER ONE, WE SHOULD LOVE THEM. BY THAT I MEAN WE SHOULD GET TO KNOW THEM. GET TO FIND OUT WHAT ARE THEIR CONCERNS? WHAT ARE THEIR CARES? WE SHOULD PROTECT THEM. NOBODY SHOULD BE HARASSED IN SCHOOL. JUST HOW YOU GET TO BE EVERY PLACE AT ONCE, I DON’T KNOW. WE’LL LEAVE THAT TO YOU. BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO CEASE ENCOURAGING THEM TO CONTINUE IN A LIFESTYLE THAT HAS CLEAR ILL BENEFITS FOR THEIR LIFE. THERE ARE PROBLEMS REPORTED BY THE CDC THAT ARE PHYSIOLOGICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND CERTAINLY SPIRITUAL AS WELL. SO IF WE LOVE THEM, WE CARE ABOUT THEM, WE NEED TO TELL THEM THAT THERE ARE OTHER ALTERNATIVES. THEY DON’T HAVE TO CONTINUE DOWN THIS PATH. AND I THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>AUSTIN KROET.>>KROET.>>THANK YOU. AND FOLLOWED BY GINA JOHNSON.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK. I’M REPRESENTATIVE THE ALLEGAN PASTOR’S ASSOCIATION, AS WELL AS MY OWN CHURCH THE PATH OF ALLEGAN. I’M ALSO SPEAKING AS A GRANDFATHER, AND COLLEGE ADJUNCT. I HAVE LISTENED TO A LOT OF THE PROBLEMS THAT YOU ARE HAVING IN DETROIT, ET CETERA. I’M VERY CONCERNED WITH THE FACT THAT WHERE OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IS AT, THAT MY STUDENTS ON THE COLLEGE LEVEL HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONSTITUTION, LET ALONE COULD NOT EVEN IDENTIFY ONE OF THE– THE BILL OF RIGHTS. WE ARE IN A SITUATION WHERE OUR CITIZENRY IS BEING DUMBED DOWN CONSIDERABLY. NOW ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I SEE HERE THAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT, LOCKER ROOM SITUATION. AS A PASTOR FOR OVER 40-SOME-ODD YEARS WHAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED IS THAT PARTICULARLY IN THE HIGH SCHOOLS, THE AMOUNT OF BULLYING THAT IS GOING ON IS NOT JUST AN LGBT PROBLEM, TO PRESENT IT AS AN LGBT PROBLEM IS A SHAM. THE OTHER ASPECT OF THIS IS VERY SIMPLE. YOU HAVE STUDENTS THAT WILL NOT COMPLY WITH THIS GUIDELINES THAT YOU HAVE IN HERE. IF YOU ARE SO SUPPORTIVE OF THIS, THEN MY CHALLENGE TO YOU IS THIS, SHOWER TOGETHER AND LET THE PUBLIC SEE YOUR REACTION OF HOW YOU WOULD BE IN A ROOM WITH A MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITE SEX WHO IS NOT YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE AND THEN PROJECT YOURSELF BACK TO WHEN YOU WERE 15 AND WANTING TO DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE PROPOSING HERE TODAY. THESE GUIDELINES NOT ONLY ARE TAKING THE PARENTAL RIGHTS THAT WE HAVE AWAY FROM US, LET ALONE THE CONFLICT THAT WE HAVE WITH RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND INSTRUCTION. WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS YOU ARE IMPOSING UPON THE PUBLIC YOUR OWN SOCIAL ENGINEERING. AND AS ONE OF THE OTHER SPEAKERS SAID, REMEMBER, YOU DO WORK FOR US, AND WE DO VOTE FOR YOU. WE ARE OPPOSED TO THESE GUIDELINES AND THE WAY THEY ARE. AND IF YOU CONTINUE TO PUSH THESE TYPE OF THINGS AS WELL AS COMMON CORE MATH, KIDS LIKE MY 14-YEAR-OLD GRANDDAUGHTER, SOME DAY MAY FILE A SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE AGAINST NOT ONLY HER SCHOOL, BUT ALSO YOU AS A BOARD INDIVIDUALLY AND CORPORATELY. I URGE YOU NOT TO PASS THIS. IT ACHES AND HURTS ME TO SEE THAT WE HAVE CITIZENS THAT ARE IN THE LGBT COMMUNITY THAT HURT SO MUCH THAT THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE LOVE AND COMPASSION FROM THE CHURCHES. WE LOVE THESE PEOPLE. WE DO NOT AGREE WITH THEIR LIFESTYLE, BUT WE LOVE THEM AND WE WELCOME THEM INTO OUR FELLOWSHIPS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH YOU THIS AFTERNOON.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>GENA JOHNSON IS NEXT. FOLLOWED BY TOM COY.>>GENA JOHNSON IS WITH MY ORGANIZATION. I HAVE ALSO SIGNED UP, SO WE CAN ELIMINATE ONE OF THE TESTIMONIES.>>OKAY. WHAT IS YOUR NAME, SIR?>>MY NAME IS WILLIAM WAGNER… I’M PRESIDENT OF THE GREAT LAKES JUSTICE CENTER, WHICH IS THE LEGAL DIVISION OF SALT & LIGHT GLOBAL. WE’RE HERE ON BEHALF OF PARENTS AND GRAND PARENTS, AND CHILDREN AND WHAT I’M NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT IS THE MEDICINE, THE SCIENCE. THE SCIENCE IS OUT THERE. THE MEDICINE IS OUT THERE. THE EVIDENCE IS OUT THERE. THERE ARE A LOT OF COMMENTS AND APPEALS TO EMOTION TODAY. WHEN I SERVED AS AN ACADEMIC, MY QUESTION WHEN I ALWAYS HEARD SOMEBODY APPEALING TO EMOTION IS WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR YOUR STATEMENT? WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR YOUR UNSUPPORTED CONCLUSION? AND THERE IS A LOT OF ALLEGATIONS TODAY ABOUT THE RISK THAT IS EVIDENT OR APPARENTLY EVIDENT TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY. AGAIN, I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU LOOK AT THE STUDIES THAT THEY ARE CITING. LOOK AT THE LACK OF METHODOLOGY, LOOK AT– AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, ASK WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR– FOR THESE CONCLUSIONS? WHAT I’M HERE, THOUGH, TODAY, IS TO TALK ABOUT THE LAW AND THE GOVERNANCE. THE REASON THAT YOU SEE HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS AND CHILDREN OUT HERE TODAY, IS BECAUSE FIRST OF ALL, THEY DIDN’T FEEL LIKE THEY WERE GIVEN FAIR NOTICE. AND NOW WHEN THEY WERE GIVEN NOTICE, THIS IS THE RESULT, YOU KNOW, THAT– THAT HAPPENED. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE ALL CARE AND SUPPORT YOUR GOAL OF PROMOTING A SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE, INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS. THE LAST SPEAKER, I CAN SYMPATHIZE AND UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WAS SAYING. WE LOVE ALL OF THESE STUDENTS AND WE CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT THEM. AND WE ARE VERY, VERY MUCH AGAINST BULLYING, AND WE WOULD BE SUPPORTIVE OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF STRATEGIES TO RESPOND TO THAT. BUT THE APPROACH THAT YOU ARE TAKING, I’M GOING TO SUGGEST, AND WE HAVE HANDED OUT OUR WRITTEN TESTIMONY, WHICH COVERS ALL OF WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT IN MUCH GREATER DEPTH. THE APPROACH YOU ARE TAKING IS GOING TO LEAD TO GREATER RISK AND GREATER VIOLENCE, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE APPROACH YOU ARE TAKING IS VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION IN SO MANY WAYS. I COULDN’T BEGIN TO PROVIDE ALL OF THE TESTIMONY IN OVER AN HOUR IF YOU GAVE IT TO ME. NOT ONLY ARE YOU VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTIONAL FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF PARENTS TO CONTROL THE UPBRINGING OF THEIR CHILDREN, YOU ARE VIOLATING THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF BOTH THE MICHIGAN AND UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. YOU ARE VIOLATING THE FREE SPEECH CLAUSE OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. YOU ARE VIOLATING THE FREE EXERCISE CLAUSE OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. YOU’RE VIOLATING THE NEW CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF PERSONAL IDENTITY FOR THE STUDENTS THAT IDENTIFY AS SOMETHING IN SOME OTHER PLACE OTHER THAN THEIR SEXUAL IDENTITY. MANY, MANY– MOST– MANY PEOPLE FIND THEIR IDENTITY SOMEWHERE BESIDES THEIR SEXUALITY. FOR EXAMPLE, THEIR FAITH. I’LL GIVE YOU ONE EXAMPLE AND THEN I’LL LEAVE. YOU HAVE MADE ILLEGAL CONDUCT THAT OCCURS ONLY AFTER THE CONDUCT OCCURS. AND DUE PROCESS AT THE VERY LEAST REQUIRES NOTICE OF WHAT IS WRONG. AND YET SOMEBODY SAYS SOMETHING, IT’S LEGAL, SOMEBODY PERCEIVES IT LATER AS HARASSMENT– NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN, THAT CONDUCT HAS BECOME ILLEGAL AFTER THE FACT. THAT VIOLATES THE VERY, VERY BASIC DUE PROCESS THAT– THAT OUR COUNTRY HAS STOOD FOR FOR OVER A COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS. I LEAVE IT TO YOU AND SUBMIT THE WRITTEN TESTIMONY AS– AS OUR POSITION. THANK YOU FOR GIVING US THIS OPPORTUNITY.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>TOM COY IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY NEHAL PATEL.>>WELL, THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY. I’M WITH AN ORGANIZATION CALLED MICHIGAN FREE SPEECH, AND WE BELIEVE THAT SAME-SEX PRIVACY IN THE LOCKER ROOMS AND BATHROOMS IS A CIVIL RIGHT. IT HASN’T HAD TO HAVE BEEN ARTICULATED BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN UNDERSTOOD FOR SO LONG. I’M GOING TO TAKE THE REST OF MY TIME TO SPEAK TO YOU AS A RESEARCHER. I HAVE RESEARCHED THE PROFESSIONAL DIVISION OVER HOMOSEXUALITY FOR 12 YEARS. AND YOUR 10 IN 10 GOAL– THE KEY TO FOLLOWING THAT, YOU HAVE SAID, IS TO USE EVIDENCE AND DATA, BUT FROM READING THE PROPOSAL, YOUR EVIDENCE AND DATA SEEMS TO BE COMING ALL FROM THE LGBT COMMUNITY. AND SADLY, THE APAs, THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL AND AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION, AND MANY OTHER COUNSELING ASSOCIATIONS ARE DOMINATED BY LGBT POLITICAL VIEWS. THEY ARE MORE POLITICAL IN SOME AREAS THAN THEY ARE PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. FROM MY RESEARCH, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THERE IS A HUNDRED YEARS OF CLINICAL EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS THAT MOST CASES OF HOMOSEXUALITY ARE A SYMPTOM OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER. AND IT INCLUDES A GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER, AND HAS BEEN CONSIDERED A DISORDER FOR MANY YEARS UP UNTIL THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, AND FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES, IT’S NOT ANYMORE. THE HEALTH RISKS– PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE HEALTH RISKS. THE SCHOOL BOARD HAS PROGRAMS TO PREVENT STUDENTS FROM SMOKING. THE CHANCES OF GETTING LUNG CANCER FROM SMOKING ARE 20 TIMES GREATER IF A YOUTH SMOKES. FOR MALE HOMOSEXUALITY, THE CHANCES OF GETTING SYPHILIS ARE 70 TIMES MORE FOR MALE HOMOSEXUALITY. THE CHANCES OF GETTING HIV INFECTION IS OVER 150 TIMES MORE. THESE ARE USING CDC STATISTICS. WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT SUICIDE, TOO, AND THERE IS– MANY PSYCHIATRISTS AND COUNSELORS HAVE FOUND THAT SUICIDE IS NOT FROM SOCIETAL PRESSURES, BUT FROM THE FACTORS THAT CAUSE THE HOMOSEXUALITY. THE CAUSATIONS OF HOMOSEXUALITY AND THESE GENDER DISORDERS HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH REJECTION AND TRAUMA. SO THERE IS A LOT OF COMPASSION THAT IS NEEDED, WHICH THIS BOARD HAS SHOWN. THERE IS 60 YEARS OF EVIDENCE THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IN MANY CASES– UNWANTED HOMOSEXUALITY CAN BE CHANGED THROUGH HETEROSEXUAL ADJUSTMENT. ALSO GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER– THE YOUNGER YOU START, THE MORE ABLE YOU ARE TO HELP THESE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE CONFUSED IN THEIR GENDER IDENTITY. IN YOUR PROPOSAL YOU SAY THAT 8.4% OF STUDENTS IDENTIFY AS LGBTQ. MANY SURVEYS INCLUDING THE KINSEY SURVEY SAY THAT MOST PEOPLE WHO HAVE THAT IDENTITY IN THEIR YOUTH DO NOT HAVE IT IN THEIR ADULTHOOD. REALISTICALLY, LESS THAN 4%, MAYBE 2% OF THAT 8.4 WILL IDENTIFY THAT IN THEIR ADULTHOOD. HOW YOU HANDLE THIS ISSUE WILL MEAN WHETHER MORE IDENTIFY THAT IN THEIR ADULTHOOD AND HAVE THOSE HEALTH RISKS, OR IF LESS IDENTIFY WITH THAT IDENTITY AND HAVE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE AND POSSIBILITIES. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>I ALSO– I PREPARED A PAPER THAT I SUBMITTED. I FAXED IT TO YOU, AND I’LL GIVE IT TO–>>OKAY, NEHAL–>>TWENTY JOURNAL, PEER REVIEW REFERENCES, AND 24 REFERENCES FROM PSYCHIATRISTS.>>THANK YOU.>>NEHAL PATEL, PLEASE, FOLLOWED BY REED NELSON.>>THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, BOARD. I– THERE HAVE BEEN MANY THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN COVERED ALREADY THAT I WAS GOING TO COVER. BUT I WOULD LIKE TO START WITH A STORY. THE STORY IS ONE I HEARD IN INDIA MANY YEARS AGO OF A MAYOR OF A TOWN WHO HAD A SHIP OF REFUGEES COME TO HIS SHORE, AND THE REFUGEES GAVE THE MAYOR A GLASS OF MILK AS AN OFFERING TO SAY, “WE WOULD LIKE TO LIVE “HERE WITH YOU.” AND THE MAYOR RETURNED THE GLASS OF MILK AND SAID, “WE CAN’T “ACCOMMODATE YOU. I’M SORRY.” AND THE REFUGEES DECIDED TO MIX SOME SUGAR IN THE MILK AND GAVE THE MILK BACK WITH THE MESSAGE, “JUST AS THE SUGAR MIXES WITH “THE MILK, SO WE WILL MIX WITH “YOU, ONLY TO MAKE THE MILK “SWEETER THAN IT WAS BEFORE.” AND SO THE MAYOR WAS TOUCHED BY IT AND DECIDED TO ACCOMMODATE THE REFUGEES, AND THE STORY ENDS VERY HAPPILY. I HAVE SEEN SUCCESSES IN OUR SCHOOLS– IN SOME OF OUR SCHOOLS, AND HEARD ABOUT SUCCESSES NATIONWIDE OF LGBTQ CHILDREN BEING EMBRACED BY THEIR CLASSMATES. SO MANY EXAMPLES OF LGBTQ AND NON-LGBTQ STUDENTS GIVING SUPPORT TO EACH OTHER. AND IT’S AMAZING. I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH, ESPECIALLY FROM THE NON-LGBTQ CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE SUPPORTED AND EMBRACED THEIR USE OF THE BATHROOM OF THEIR GENDER IDENTITY, OR– OR BEING ABLE TO MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS IN A LOCKER ROOM, FOR EXAMPLE. IF THAT TYPE OF LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE THAT GROWS AND HEALS, AND PROVIDES A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR– FOR OUR STUDENTS, AND I– I HAVE SEEN THIS IN OUR SCHOOLS, AND I THANK THE BOARD FOR COMING UP WITH VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES TO HELP SCHOOLS MANAGE THE ISSUE. I– WITH THE TIME I HAVE LEFT, I’LL JUST SAY, IN– I ONLY SPEAK ON MY OWN BEHALF TODAY, BUT AS I HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT THE ISSUE, I HAVE BEEN CURIOUS. I HAVE LOOKED AT CRIME DATA, AND ACCORDING TO HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN, 2015 HAD MORE MURDERS OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE THAN ANY OTHER RECORDED YEAR. AND IN CONTRAST, AT LEAST IN MY OWN EXPERIENCE, SEEING AND READING ABOUT PLACES WHERE CHILDREN OF VARIOUS SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS AND GENDER IDENTITIES ARE ABLE TO USE THE REST ROOMS THAT THEY ARE COMFORTABLE WITH, AND SO ON. I HAVEN’T YET HEARD OF ANY SUCH RAMPANT AGGRESSIVE TYPE OF CONDUCT AT ALL. IT SEEMS THAT THE HARD DATA I HAVE RUN ACROSS IS SHOWING THAT THE DATA THAT LGBTQ CHILDREN ARE FACING BULLYING, HARASSMENT, AND SOMETIMES EVEN– THE WORST OF SITUATIONS OF MURDER, IS– IS SOMETHING WE DO NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT. I AM GLAD TO SHARE INFORMATION, BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF STUDIES OVER THE LAST FIVE OR TEN YEARS SHOWING THAT HORMONES, GENES, AND OTHER THINGS AT BIRTH ARE DETERMINING GENDER IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION. WHEN OUR STUDENTS TALK TO US, THEY REALLY ARE TELLING US WHO THEY ARE. I THANK THE BOARD FOR SHOWING SUPPORT, AND LET’S– TO MY FRIENDS HERE AND EVERYBODY ELSE, LET’S NOT BE AFRAID TO TASTE THE SUGAR. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>REED NELSON IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY JASMINE EARLY.>>REED NELSON. GRADUATED FROM FRASER HIGH SCHOOL IN 1972, MY WIFE FROM MT. CLEMENS IN 1972. WE HAVE FOUR CHILDREN THAT ALL GRADUATED FROM MACKINAW CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL. AND THEY ARE ALL A BLESSING, AND I’M GRATEFUL FOR THEM. BUT I HAVE NINE GRANDCHILDREN, SOME IN SCHOOL, SOME NOT YET IN SCHOOL. IT WAS INTERESTING TO LISTEN TO THE PROGRAM EARLIER ON THE NEED FOR NURSES, THE PROBLEM WITH ASTHMA, THE POVERTY PROBLEM, AND YET I SOMEHOW SEE THAT THAT IS NOT THE SOLUTION. BUT THE PROBLEM THERE, I THINK, IS THE SAME PROBLEM THAT WE’RE DEALING WITH THE BATHROOMS. MAYBE YOU DON’T PUT THE TWO TOGETHER, BUT SOMEHOW I DO PUT THEM TOGETHER. IN GENESIS 1:26, IT SAYS, “LET “US MAKE MAN IN OUR OWN IMAGE.” AND IN VERSE 27, IT SAID, “SO IN THE IMAGE OF GOD MADE HIM “MALE AND FEMALE, MADE HE THEM.” AND JESUS CHRIST MADE MALE AND FEMALE. NOBODY HAS TO ACCEPT THAT, BUT THAT’S WHAT I BELIEVE IS THE TRUTH. I BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE ALSO OF JESUS; THAT JESUS MADE THIS CLEAR: HE SAID, “THEREFORE “SHALL A MAN LEAVE HIS FATHER “AND MOTHER AND CLEAVE TO HIS “WIFE AND THEY SHALL BE ONE “FLESH.” NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE IN THAT VERSE, IT SAYS, “A MAN SHALL “LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, “AND THAT MAKES A FAMILY. “AND CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE “AND THEY, TOO– THAT MAN, THAT “WOMAN BECOME A FAMILY.” I REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE PROBLEM IN DETROIT IS NOT A NEED FOR NURSES, BUT THE PROBLEM IS THERE’S NOT A MAN AND A WOMAN IN THE FAMILY– 41% OF OUR FAMILIES IN AMERICA ARE WITHOUT A FATHER. LISTEN TO TONY EVANS WHO IS A BLACK PREACHER, AND HE SAID IF YOU ARE BLACK, IT’S 72% ARE WITHOUT A MAN IN THE HOME. AND TO ME, THAT’S THE GREATEST PROBLEM THAT BRINGS THE POVERTY, AND THAT BRINGS THE DISORDER IN THE FAMILY. AND IF WE CAN GET BACK TO BUILDING A FAMILY AFTER GOD’S ORDER, WITH A MAN AND A WOMAN, THAT WOULD SOLVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS. AND I GUESS THAT’S– THAT’S ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL THAT YOU HAVE. IT’S ELIMINATING THE THOUGHTS OF THE PARENTS, LETTING CHILDREN DO SOMETHING THAT THE PARENTS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT. TO ME, THE PARENTS SHOULD BE THE FIRST ONE TO ADDRESS. AND THE PARENTS SHOULD KNOW, BECAUSE THAT’S THE HOPE OF THAT CHILD. HE HAS GOT TO COME HOME TO MOM AND DAD IF THERE IS A MOM AND DAD. I GREATLY APPRECIATE WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO. I APPRECIATE YOUR WORK. IT’S DIFFICULT, BUT I OWE A LOT TO THE SCHOOL THAT I WENT TO, AND MY CHILDREN, AND I HAVE GRANDCHILDREN COMING, AND I JUST WISH YOU WOULD CONSIDER THE FACT OF– THE PROBLEM IS OUR FAMILIES. WE NEED A MAN AND A WOMAN IN THE HOUSE, AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS DESIGNED BY GOD. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>THE NEXT SPEAKER IS JASMINE EARLY, FOLLOWED BY SANAE ELIAS.>>THANK YOU. I’M HERE TO REPRESENT HUNDREDS OF PARENTS FROM STERLING HEIGHTS. ENGLISH ISN’T MY FIRST LANGUAGE, SO BEAR WITH ME. I’M HERE TO EXPRESS OUR OPPOSITION TO THE GUIDANCE STATEMENTS REGARDING THE LGBTQ. THE GUIDANCE TAKES AWAY PARENTAL RIGHTS AND PUTS AS RISK THE SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL BEING OF OUR CHILDREN. I LOVE HOMOSEXUALS, AND I BELIEVE THAT AS GOD’S CREATION, WE OWE IT TO BE TOLERANT TO EACH OTHER. HOWEVER, I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THE LEFT, THROUGH LIBERAL AGENDAS TRYING TO DISCRIMINATE THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T FOLLOW THEIR AGENDA. I’M A MINORITY AND HISPANIC. I ALSO AM A CHRISTIAN. I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE BULLIED AND DISCRIMINATED. BUT I ALSO KNOW THAT WE HAD ANTI-BULLYING LAWS, AND WE HAD ANTI-DISCRIMINATING LAWS THAT PROTECT US. THAT’S WHAT OUR CONSTITUTION IS ABOUT. WHY MORE? WHERE IS THE PRIVACY AND SAFETY? AT THIS VERY MOMENT, STRAIGHT STUDENTS ARE FACING WHAT IS TO BE INTIMIDATED IN THE SCHOOLS. WHO IS TALKING ABOUT THEY ARE BEING ISOLATED? IT IS CLEAR THAT THROUGH THIS GUIDANCE, YOU ARE TRYING TO INDOCTRINATE THE YOUNG GENERATIONS SO THIS WILL BECOME THE NEW NORMAL. STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS– IN A SCHOOL AGE DO NOT HAVE THE MATURITY TO DEAL WITH THE EMOTIONAL CONFUSION THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO CREATE. I’M HIGHLY CONCERNED THE WAY THE GUIDANCE STATES WHAT IS GENDER IDENTITY. ARE YOU TELLING US THAT A 5 TO 10-YEAR-OLD CHILD MAY ALREADY BE HAVING THIS TYPE OF MATURITY TO MAKE THESE KINDS OF DECISIONS? AT THIS MOMENT WE MAY HAVE A CONFUSED YOUNG SOCIETY AS THE RESULT OF THE MEDIA, SCHOOLS, AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS PUSHING TO INDOCTRINATE OUR YOUTH AND DISCRIMINATE THE ONES WHO UPHOLD DIFFERENT MORAL STANDARD VALUES THAN YOU DO. ARE YOU TELLING US THAT YOU KNOW BETTER THAN US PARENTS? INSTEAD OF TRYING TO CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR THE TOTAL OF THE CHILDREN, WHICH CERTAINLY ARE NOT A SOLUTION FOR THE FEW CHILDREN THAT STRUGGLE WITH GENDER IDENTITY, YOU SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON RESEARCHING THE PROPOSALS THAT ARE WORKING WITHIN OTHER STATE AND ARE PROTECTING 100% OF OUR CHILDREN. WHEN CHILDREN COME TO SCHOOL, PARENTS EXPECT A TEACHER WILL BE PROTECTING AND GUIDING IN ACADEMICS– THE CHILDREN. WE PARENTS DO NOT WANT YOU TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS OF TEACHING CHILDREN TO LIVE A DOUBLE LIFE IN A SCHOOL, SINCE YOU ARE TAKING OUR PARENTAL RIGHTS AWAY WITH THIS GUIDANCE. THAT IS NOT RIGHT. THIS IS WRONG. THIS DOUBLE LIFE WILL ONLY CREATE MORE PROBLEMS BESIDES ANY HEALTH BARRIER-RELATED PROBLEMS THAT THEY MAY ALREADY HAVE. I PLEAD TO YOU FOR THE EMOTIONAL AND SAFETY BEING OF THE CHILDREN. DO NOT EVEN TRY TO PASS THIS GUIDANCE. IF YOU ARE DOING IT BECAUSE IT’S AN ELECTION YEAR, I WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT FOR THAT SAME REASON, YOU MAY BE VOTED OUT. FURTHERMORE, YOU WILL BE ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD ONE DAY, WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN HIM OR NOT. I PRAY THAT YOU WILL HAVE AN ANSWER FOR HIM. I DO HAVE PETITIONS HERE WHICH MANY HAVE SIGNED, AND I COULD HAVE GOTTEN MORE SIGNATURES, BUT SCHOOL OFFICIALS MADE SURE THAT I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO INFORM OR ASK PARENTS TO SIGN IT. SHOULDN’T PARENTS KNOW ABOUT IT? I ASK YOU: WHO IS BEING BULLIED OR PERSECUTED NOW? THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>SANAE ELIAS IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY GARY WONUK. THANK YOU.>>GOOD AFTERNOON, BOARD. MY NAME IS SENAH, BUT I APPRECIATE IT. I ACCEPT ANYTHING CLOSE.>>NO– I’M GLAD YOU TELL US THE CORRECT PRONUNCIATION.>>THAT’S FINE. BASICALLY I JUST WANT TO SHARE A FEW THINGS. WHEN WE MAKE SOUND JUDGMENT, SOUND POLICIES, WE BASE THEM ON FACTS AND OBJECTIVITY. I UNDERSTAND EMOTIONS, BUT WE DON’T BASE THEM ON FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS, BECAUSE THOSE ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. NOW, WE’VE HEARD MANY YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN BULLIED, AND I FEEL FOR THEM. I WAS BULLIED WHEN I WAS YOUNG, NOT BECAUSE I AM TRANSGENDER, JUST BECAUSE I STOOD OUT– I WAS SKINNY. I WAS FOREIGN. PEOPLE MAKE FUN OF KIDS ALL THE TIME. WE CURRENTLY HAVE ANTI-BULLYING LAWS. WHY AREN’T YOU UTILIZING THAT INSTEAD OF TRYING TO CREATE ANOTHER LAW THAT WILL DEFINITELY GO AGAINST THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS’ RIGHTS AND PRIVACY? NO ONE IS SAYING TO THESE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN’T HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO GO TO USE THE BATHROOM. WE ARE SUGGESTING YOU CREATE A SEPARATE ONE, BECAUSE THOSE CHILDREN WHO ARE 99.7% SHOULD ALSO HAVE THE SAME RESPECT. THEY SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO FEEL PRIVATE AND HAVE PRIVACY IN THE BATHROOM. THEY SHOULD NOT FEEL THEY ARE MARGINALIZED BECAUSE THEY DON’T AGREE WITH THE AGENDA THAT YOU GUYS ARE PROPOSING– BECAUSE THAT REALLY IS AN AGENDA, AND IT IS GOING TO MARGINALIZE THEM, BECAUSE IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THAT, THEY WILL BE CRITICIZED AND POSSIBLY SUBJECTED TO SOME ADMONITION FROM THE TEACHERS– WHO KNOWS. ALL I’M TRYING TO SAY TO YOU IS– FIRST OF ALL YOU ARE USURPING PARENTAL RIGHTS. A PARENT HAS A RIGHT TO DIRECT HIS CHILDREN’S DIRECTION IN LIFE. HE IS THE PERSON WHO IS TO LEAD THEM SPIRITUALLY, MORALLY– IN EVERY WAY. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT. BY YOU INDOCTRINATING IN THE CURRICULUM, STARTING FROM KINDERGARTEN TO 12th GRADE, ALLOWING THIS TO BE TAUGHT– SO YOU ARE TELLING A CHILD WHO IS FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, “IF YOU FEEL LIKE A BOY– IF “YOU ARE A GIRL AND YOU FEEL “LIKE A BOY, MAYBE YOU SHOULD “TRY IT OUT.” “MAYBE YOU ARE A BOY.” WHAT KID AT THAT AGE IS ABLE TO MAKE ANY DECISION SUCH AS THAT? WE DON’T GIVE THEM A PILL WITHOUT A PARENT’S APPROVAL, WE DON’T ALLOW THEM TO TAKE A BUS TRIP WITHOUT A PARENT’S APPROVAL, BUT YOU ARE SAYING THAT CHILD WITHOUT PARENTS OR MENTAL HEALTH DOCTOR CAN MAKE A DECISION? YOU GUYS ARE EITHER LIVING IN LA-LA LAND, OR WE NEED A NEW BOARD. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>ALL RIGHT, BEFORE WE CALL THE NEXT PERSON, WE DO HAVE THAT NEW EMPLOYEE? NO, WE DON’T HAVE THE NEW EMPLOYEE.>>APPARENTLY HE’S ON HIS WAY.>>OKAY. WE’LL CONTINUE THEN.>>GARY WONUK.>>THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>AND MIKE STEVENS IS NEXT. SORRY.>>IT’S OKAY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. I STAYED WITH RELATIVES LAST NIGHT. THEY ARE BOTH EDUCATORS. THEY BOTH GRADUATED FROM MICHIGAN STATE. WE DON’T HAVE THE SAME MORAL VIEW. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT ADOPTION, AND THEY HAD SEEN ADOPTION WITH SAME-SEX PARENTS AS WORKING OUT. I DISAGREE WITH THE PREMISE. HOWEVER, WHEN IT COMES TO WHAT THIS BOARD IS PROPOSING ON THE TRANSGENDER ISSUE, THEY FIGURE THIS IS SOMETHING THAT THEY ARE HANDLING NOW. AS A MATTER OF FACT, ONE OF THEM DEALS WITH 2 TRANSGENDER STUDENTS OUT OF 132. AND MY QUESTION TO YOU IS YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE ONE PERSON AND PUT THEM IN A POPULATION OF 60 OTHERS WHERE THE SEXES ARE DIFFERENT AND THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE THEM PEOPLE FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. MY WIFE AND I HAVE– WELL, HE’S MY BROTHER IN LAW. MY WIFE’S BROTHER IS MENTALLY RETARDED. NOW, YOU ARE TELLING ME– BECAUSE EVERY NOW AND THEN HE HAS AN ISSUE FOR ACTING OUT– THAT I’M GOING TO TAKE A WHOLE COMMUNITY AND MAKE THEM SAY, “WELL, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE “TO SUCK IT UP WHEN HE GETS A “LITTLE OUT OF CONTROL, BECAUSE “HE HAS A PROBLEM.” YOU ALSO NEED TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE FACT THAT THE TOPIC WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IS REFERRED TO AS GENDER DYSPHORIA, AND IT IS LISTED IN THE DMS’S FROM 3, 4, AND 5. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE MY WIFE IS A THERAPIST AND SHE DEALS WITH CLOSED-HEAD INJURIES, AND SHE HAS POINTED ME TO THIS STUFF. I AM ASKING YOU TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING, BECAUSE YOU ARE ASKING TO TURN EVERYBODY ELSE’S WORLDVIEW UPSIDE DOWN FOR A SMALL PERCENTAGE. YOU’VE HEARD IT WAS UNDER 1%. I’M WILLING TO GIVE YOU 2 ON THE INFORMATION I GOT. AND WE DON’T DO THAT FOR ANYTHING ELSE. WHY WOULD WE DO THAT FOR THIS? WE DO NEED TO TREAT THESE PEOPLE WITH LOVE, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT WE ARE CALLED TO FOR, AND TO NOT BULLY THEM– I AGREE WITH THAT. BUT THERE ARE OTHER ACCOMMODATIONS AND I THINK OUR TEACHERS ARE INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW TO HANDLE THIS IN THE SCHOOL WITHOUT SOMEBODY COMING DOWN WITH A ONE SIZE FITS ALL LAW FROM THE BOARD OF EDUCATION. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>MIKE STEVENS IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY JAMIE RAMSEY.>>I AM MICHAEL STEVENS, RETIRED PHYSICIAN. I COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH THIS THING. IT WOULD BE AGAINST THE GREAT MAJORITY OF MORE NORMAL PEOPLE, AND AS A PREVIOUS PERSON SAID, THERE IS A LOT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ABNORMALITY IN THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THIS. WE NEED TO EDUCATE ALL OF THE YOUNGSTERS ABOUT THEM TO TRY TO CUT DOWN SOME OF THE FIGHTING AND STUFF THAT GOES ON WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG. BUT IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT CORRECT FOR ANYONE WITH A PENIS TO WALK INTO A LADY’S BATHROOM. THAT IS NOT RIGHT. IF THEY HAVE THEIR PENIS REMOVED, THEN THEY CAN. BUT THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY WRONG BILL TO ALLOW THAT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>JAMIE RAMSEY, FOLLOWED BY MIKE REESE– IS THERE MORE THAN ONE MIKE REESE?>>YEAH, HE’S COMING.>>OKAY.>>HELLO. THANK YOU FOR HEARING US TODAY. WE’RE HERE BECAUSE THERE IS A BEAUTIFUL KALEIDOSCOPE OF GENDER THAT WE ALL HAVE ACCESS TO. OUR BODY PARTS DO NOT DICTATE WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES. WE ALSO KNOW THAT BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION DO NOT MAKE FOR HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE, AND THAT LOVING, ACCEPTANCE, AND SUPPORT DOES MAKE FOR HEALTHY AND PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE. PROTECTING STUDENTS WHO DON’T CONFORM TO THE GENDER BINARY IS SOMETHING THAT ALL COMPASSIONATE PEOPLE CAN GET BEHIND. WE’VE ALSO SEEN A LOT OF ANGER AND FEAR OVER THIS ISSUE, AND I BELIEVE THAT STEMS FROM THE UNKNOWN AND FEAR THAT OTHER CHILDREN MIGHT GET HURT DUE TO THE PROTECTIONS FOR TRANS AND GENDER NONCONFORMING PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND SCHOOLS. THESE PROTECTIONS WON’T HARM OTHER STUDENTS. LGBTQ YOUTH FACE DISCRIMINATION FROM CLASSMATES, FROM THEIR PARENTS, FROM THEIR COMMUNITIES, AND FROM STRANGERS JUST FOR BEING WHO THEY ARE. WE’VE ALL BEEN TAUGHT TO FEAR SOMETHING THAT WE DON’T KNOW FROM A YOUNG AGE. AND THAT FEAR LEADS TO ANGER, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS SOMETHING THAT WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO UNDERSTAND. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THOSE WHO ARE ANGRY OR FEARFUL OF THOSE WHO ARE DIFFERENT ARE RIGHT, AND ALL CHILDREN NEED PROTECTION, ESPECIALLY GENDER AND SEXUAL MINORITIES. LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, GAY, TRANSGENDER, QUEER, QUESTIONING, AND INTERSEX YOUTH ARE AT MUCH HIGHER RISK FOR DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AND SUICIDE THAN THOSE WHO ARE NOT GENDER AND SEXUAL MINORITIES, IN LARGE PART DUE TO THE LACK OF SUPPORT AND OPEN DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THEIR RIGHT TO EXIST AND LIVE THEIR LIVES WITHOUT UNNECESSARY HARDSHIP AND DISTRESS. SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT WERE BROUGHT UP WERE THAT STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT TRANSGENDER MIGHT CROSS DRESS TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE OPPOSITE GENDER’S RESTROOM. BEING TRANS INVOLVES A LOT MORE THAN SUDDENLY DECIDING TO WEAR A DRESS TO SCHOOL AND USING THE OPPOSITE BATHROOM. IT’S ABOUT THE FUNDAMENTAL IDENTITY OF THE PERSON WHOSE GENITALS DON’T MATCH UP WITH WHAT SOCIETY DEEMS THEIR GENDER AT BIRTH TO BE. AND ANY YOUNG PERSON SUDDENLY ASSUMING A DIFFERENT DRESS TO OGLE YOUNG PERSONS WHILE THEY VOID BODILY WASTE IN THE BATHROOM NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP. EDUCATORS AVAILABLE LIKE JAY MADDOCK FROM THE GAY AND LESBIAN RESOURCE CENTER– THERE ARE EDUCATORS AVAILABLE TO HELP SCHOOLS COME UP WITH POLICIES TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF TRANSITIONING OR GENDER NONCONFORMING STUDENTS. IN CLOSING, PLEASE CHOOSE TO PROTECT ALL STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE AT THE MOST RISK FOR DISCRIMINATION AND THEIR GENDER IDENTITIES NOT BEING RESPECTED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>MICHAEL REESE IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY NICOLE ADELMAN.>>JUST SO YOU KNOW, I STARTED MY EDUCATION IN THE BIBLE COLLEGE. I’M A PASTOR AT CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH IN MIDLAND, MICHIGAN. BUT I THEN WENT TO CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, GOT MY DEGREE IN EDUCATION. I HAVE BEEN A TEACHER AND HAVE A DOCTOR’S DEGREE. ALL I’M SAYING TO YOU IS THAT I DO NOT ENVY YOUR POSITION IN THE FIELD OF EDUCATION. THAT’S WHERE I LIVE. THAT’S WHERE I CAME FROM. I’LL JUST SAY WHAT YOU HAVE IN FRONT OF YOU IS A VERY EMOTIONAL SITUATION. I BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE IS– AND A COUPLE OF PEOPLE HAVE ADDRESSED IT– THERE ARE DIFFERENT WORLDVIEWS. MY WORLDVIEW IS BASED ON GOD’S WORD, THE BIBLE. THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE THAT HAVE A WORLDVIEW THAT IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT. AND I WANT TO TELL YOU, AS A PASTOR, THAT DOESN’T MAKE THEM BAD. I DON’T BELIEVE THEY ARE TRYING TO DO BAD THINGS. NOR AM I, AND NOR ARE WE. BUT IT’S A DIFFERENT WORLDVIEW. I BELIEVE THAT GOD CREATED MAN AND WOMAN AND THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. THERE WAS THEN, AND THERE STILL IS. IN OUR CHURCH, WE HAVE A NUMBER OF FAMILIES THAT HOMESCHOOL THEIR CHILDREN. OTHERS CHOOSE TO PUT THEM IN OUR PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, AND OTHERS CHOOSE TO HAVE THEM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL, AND THERE ARE A NUMBER THAT HAVE THEM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL. THE ONE KEY INGREDIENT IS IT’S A PARENTAL CHOICE. THEY HAVE THAT CHOICE. AND AS I READ THROUGH AND STUDIED YOUR PROPOSAL, I– MY MAIN CONCERN IS THE TAKING AWAY OF PARENTAL KNOWLEDGE AND PARENTAL AUTHORITY. AND THAT’S MY CONCERN AND THAT’S WHAT I ASK YOU TO CONSIDER. I ASK YOU, ELECTED OFFICIAL, TO CONSIDER THE RIGHTS OF OUR PARENTS. DON’T MAKE THIS A STATE MANDATE. LEAVE IT UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO BE DECIDED ON BY THE PARENTS IN THAT SCHOOL DISTRICT. BECAUSE I BELIEVE– THE BIBLE TELLS ME– AND UNDERSTAND, THAT IS MY WORLDVIEW, AND I’M NOT PREACHING AT YOU– PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT. YOU CAN HAVE A DIFFERENT WORLDVIEW, AND THAT’S OKAY, BUT THIS IS WHY I’M SAYING THIS, BECAUSE MY WORLDVIEW IS BASED ON SCRIPTURE. AND IT SAYS CHILDREN ARE A HERITAGE OF THE LORD. THEY ARE GIVEN TO US BY GOD, AND IT’S THE PARENTS’ CHOICE TO SAY WHERE THEIR CHILDREN ARE EDUCATED, AND HOW THEIR CHILDREN ARE EDUCATED. AND WHEN I READ THROUGH YOUR PROPOSED NEW POLICY, YOU HAVE HIT ALMOST EVERY AREA– WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE TO DO– YOU HAVE HIT ALMOST EVERY AREA, INCLUDING THE LIBRARY AND WHAT’S THERE, INCLUDING THE GUIDANCE COUNSELORS THAT ARE THERE AND HOW THEY’RE GOING TO GUIDE THEM, INCLUDING THE RESTROOM, THE LOCKER ROOM, THE INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORTS– YOU HIT IT ALL. I SAY THAT’S A PARENTAL CHOICE– LEAVE IT TO THE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT. AND I DO NOT ENVY YOUR POSITION. AND I MADE IT LESS THAN THREE MINUTES. [ LAUGHTER ]>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>YOU GET EXTRA CREDIT POINTS. I’M NOT SURE WHAT CAN DO WITH THEM, BUT– [ LAUGHTER ]>>NICOLE ADELMAN IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY BENJAMIN BRIGHT.>>GOOD AFTERNOON.>>GOOD AFTERNOON.>>MY NAME IS NICOLE ADELMAN. I AM THE PARENT OF A MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENT, AND I AM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CORNER HEALTH CENTER IN YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN. THE CORNER HEALTH CENTER COMMENDS THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DOCUMENT “SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR LGBTQ STUDENTS.” THE CORNER HEALTH CENTER’S MISSION IS TO PROVIDE JUDGMENT FREE, HIGH QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH SERVICES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AGE 12-25. A RECENTLY REVISED MISSION WAS DEVELOPED WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF YOUTH ON OUR BOARD AND OUR YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL. IT WAS THEIR STRONG SUGGESTION TO PUT THE QUALIFIER “JUDGMENT FREE” FIRST, BEFORE “HIGH QUALITY” AND BEFORE “AFFORDABLE.” YOUTH OFTEN FEEL JUDGED AND NEED THEIR HEALTH PROVIDER TO BE A SAFE SPACE, JUST LIKE THEY NEED THEIR SCHOOLS TO BE A SAFE SPACE. WHILE THIS IS TRUE FOR MANY YOUTH IN GENERAL, THE CORNER IS CONTINUING TO SEE AN INCREASE IN LGBTQ YOUNG PEOPLE SEEKING MEDICAL CARE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. NATIONALLY, LGBTQ YOUTH REPORT BULLYING, SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, HIV, STIs, AND UNINTENDED PREGNANCY AT HIGHER RATES THAN THEIR HETEROSEXUAL PEERS. THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS, THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, AND OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND MEDICAL AND HEALTH PROFESSIONAL GROUPS RECOMMEND PROVIDING PROGRAMS INCLUSIVE OF LGBTQ YOUTH, DECREASE DISPARITIES THESE YOUTH EXPERIENCE, AND EMPHASIZE THE NEED TO SUPPORT THEIR HEALTH AND ACCESS TO CARE. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ED HAS RELEASED GUIDELINES THAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS MUST PROTECT ALL STUDENTS, INCLUDING LGBT STUDENTS, UNDER TITLE IX. THIS INCLUDES SCHOOL STAFF BEING EDUCATED ABOUT THE LGBT COMMUNITY, IDENTIFYING A STAFF PERSON TO REPRESENT– TO RESPOND TO HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS, AND PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LGBTQ STUDENTS. CLARIFICATION STATES A SCHOOL WITH A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT THAT DOES NOT ADDRESS THIS ENVIRONMENT IS VIOLATING TITLE IX, AND FURTHER CLARIFIES A SCHOOL SHOULD NOT WAIT TO TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT ITS STUDENTS UNTIL STUDENTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DEPRIVED OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES. ALL STUDENTS SHOULD FEEL SAFE AND SUPPORTED AT EVERY MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOL. THE DOCUMENT UNDER DISCUSSION IS NOT A MANDATE, BUT A FRAMEWORK LISTING RECOMMENDATIONS, BEST PRACTICE, AND RESEARCH-BASED GUIDANCE ON HOW TO CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR SCHOOLS AS THEY MAKE POLICY DECISIONS. AS A HEALTH CARE CENTER FOR YOUNG ADULTS AND ADOLESCENTS, THE CORNER HEALTH CENTER, INCLUDING OUR YOUTH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL, ENDORSES THE ADOPTION OF THIS DOCUMENT THAT ENCOURAGES SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS FOR LGBTQ YOUTH. THIS FOSTERS HEALTHY YOUTH WHO WILL IN TURN GROW INTO HEALTHY ADULTS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND YOUR CONSIDERATION.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>BENJAMIN BRIGHT, FOLLOWED BY CRAIG McCALLA.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. I’M NOT REPRESENTING ANY ORGANIZATION– I’M JUST A FATHER OF FOUR YOUNG CHILDREN. SO THIS IS NOT STARING ME IN THE FACE JUST YET, BUT COMING IN THE FUTURE. ONE OF THE STATED GOALS OF THE GUIDELINES THAT YOU ARE PROPOSING IS THE SAFETY OF LGBTQ STUDENTS, AND THAT IS SOMETHING I STRONGLY AGREE WITH. NOBODY SHOULD BE SUBJECTED TO HARASSMENT OR BULLYING OR INSULTING OF ANY NATURE, AND THAT’S SOMETHING THAT I THINK MANY PEOPLE CAN GET BEHIND, FOR SURE. BUT THERE ARE SOME OTHER THINGS ABOUT IT THAT ARE TROUBLING, AND NOTHING THAT HASN’T ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED, SO I’LL BE BRIEF. BUT THE LOCKER ROOM AND RESTROOM SITUATION IS TROUBLING TO ME FROM A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT ASPECTS, BUT THE DECISIONS THAT ARE MADE HERE, OF COURSE, ARE GOING TO AFFECT MANY, MANY PEOPLE AND THERE ARE LIKELY TO BE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF THOSE DECISIONS. AND THERE ARE MANY STUDENTS WHO HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THAT– THE MIXTURE OF BIOLOGICAL GENDERS IN ONE ROOM, AND NOT NECESSARILY LIGHT-HEARTED CONCERNS, BUT CONVICTIONS ABOUT MODESTY, AND WHAT IS APPROPRIATE, AND SO FORTH, WITHOUT ANY ILL INTENT TOWARDS ANYONE ELSE. ALSO, IT HAS BEEN MENTIONED AS WELL THE PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT, WHICH IS JUST CRUCIAL IN MY VIEW. AN ISSUE LIKE THIS WHERE THERE’S CONFUSION, PERHAPS, EMOTION, THERE NEEDS TO BE THE WISDOM OF THE OLDER GENERATION– ESPECIALLY THE PARENTS– BROUGHT TO BEAR ON A SITUATION LIKE THIS. AND IT WOULD BE A TRAVESTY TO KEEP THEM OUT OF THE LOOP, AND AT LEAST A SURFACE READING OF THIS DOCUMENT INDICATES THAT THERE ARE SOME RESTRICTIONS PUT IN PLACE WITH PARENTAL COMMUNICATION ABOUT THESE ISSUES– VERY TROUBLING TO ME. AND THEN FINALLY, IT HAS BEEN ASKED ALREADY– WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THESE GUIDELINES THAT THE BOARD IS CONSIDERING? AND I WOULD RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO, COULD YOU PLEASE SEEK OUT INPUT FROM OTHER QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS, WHICH MAY OFFER A COUNTER PERSPECTIVE TO WHAT YOU HAVE GOT HERE? THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU.>>CRAIG McCALLA IS NEXT FOLLOWED BY BETH JOSEPHSON.>>HELLO. THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME TODAY. MY NAME IS CRAIG McCALLA. I’M AN ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL. I’M HERE TODAY TO SPEAK IN SUPPORT OF THE GUIDANCE AND THE GUIDELINES. PART OF– AS A BUILDING ADMINISTRATOR, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE TALKED ABOUT KEEPING OUR STUDENTS SAFE. WE WORK ON BULLYING POLICIES AND FOLLOWING THOSE POLICIES EACH AND EVERY DAY TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS SAFE. WHAT THESE GUIDANCE POLICIES DO IS GIVE US THAT DIRECTION OF HOW TO SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS. I TALK TO ADMINISTRATORS AND SUPERINTENDENTS ALL OVER THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. A LOT OF TIMES, THEY HAVE QUESTIONS: “WHAT CAN WE DO TO SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS?” WE HAVE CONVERSATIONS. I HAVE TWO TRANSGENDER STUDENTS IN MY BUILDING. I WORK CLOSELY WITH THEIR FAMILIES TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE IN A SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT. THESE STUDENTS ARE FLOURISHING. OTHER PEOPLE HAVE FOUND OUT– “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, CRAIG, TO MAKE THESE STUDENTS SAFE?” AND THESE GUIDANCE POLICIES GIVE THEM THAT LATITUDE OF MOVING FORWARD. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO PASS THESE GUIDANCE POLICIES. THEY ARE NUTS AND BOLTS TO KEEPING OUR STUDENTS SAFE. WE HAD– ONE OF THE STUDENTS THAT WAS OUT THERE CAN’T COME IN, BUT THEY ASKED ME TO SPEAK ON THEIR BEHALF, AND I THINK AS A BUILDING PRINCIPAL, IT IS MY– I’M A VOICE OF THE STUDENTS AS WELL AS THE FAMILIES OF THE CHILDREN. ONE OF THOSE STUDENTS WAS HERE, HIS NAME A ADEN. HE SPOKE AT AN EARLIER MEETING. HE WAS AN AP STUDENT AND TRUMPET PLAYER, AND HE JUST WANTED ME TO REMIND YOU OF ALL OF THE STUDENTS THAT TRIED TO TAKE THEIR OWN LIVES, AND TO SUPPORT THEM. WHAT THESE POLICIES DO, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DATA, IS TO KEEP THEM SAFE. IT MAKES IT A SAFE AND SECURE ENVIRONMENT FOR THEM– THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE AT SCHOOL. SO I ENCOURAGE YOU TO PASS THE POLICIES. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>BETH JOSEFSON, FOLLOWED BY SEAN KENNEDY.>>THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TIME TO SPEAK. MY NAME IS BETH JOSEPHSON, I’M A GUIDANCE COUNSELOR AT OKEMOS HIGH SCHOOL. HOWEVER, I’M NOT A SPOKESMAN FOR THE DISTRICT, AND I WANT TO MAKE THAT CLEAR. THEY PROBABLY DON’T EVEN KNOW I’M HERE. I TOOK A PERSONAL DAY. I HAVE BEEN AN EDUCATOR FOR 26 YEARS. I WORK PASSIONATELY EVERY DAY– PROBABLY OVER-WORK– FOR MY NEAR 400 STUDENTS. I LEARN FROM THEM. I ENGAGE WITH THEM. IT’S JUST SUCH A TREMENDOUS JOB. I DON’T BRING MY RELIGIOUS, PERSONAL, POLITICAL VIEWS TO WORK. I BRING A LISTENING EAR, SENSITIVITY. I PROTECT THEM. I ADVOCATE FOR THEM. I DO NOT JUDGE THEM. TODAY I HAVE HEARD ENOUGH OF THAT– JUDGMENT. THESE GUIDELINES– YOU PASSING GUIDELINES– WILL ACTUALLY SAVE LIVES– YOUNG PEOPLE’S LIVES. I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I’M PROUD TO BE A JEW, A DAUGHTER, A DOG LOVER, PASSIONATE GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, ATHLETE, EDUCATOR, AND A LESBIAN. I LIVE MY LIFE AUTHENTICALLY AND I HAVE FOR 15 YEARS. I’M ALMOST 50. THAT MEANS 35 OF MY YEARS I WAS NOT, BECAUSE OF SOCIETAL VIEWS AND MY WORRY OF LOSING MY JOB, MAYBE MY HOUSING, NOT GETTING– AND STILL NOT BEING PROTECTED. SO TODAY I WANT TO SHARE SOME STORIES OF STUDENTS. I’M NOT GOING TO USE THEIR NAMES, BUT I WILL USE NAMES. ELI, THE TRANSGENDER 15-YEAR-OLD. LEGAL NAME, EMILY. BRAVELY, ELI ASKED TEACHERS TO USE HIS PREFERRED NAME ELI, BUT ALSO PRONOUNS– HE, HIM. THE TEACHERS AT OKEMOS HIGH SCHOOL, A PUBLIC SCHOOL, ARE AMAZING. THEY WANT TO HELP STUDENTS. EVERYBODY WAS ON BOARD BUT ONE TEACHER, WHO HONESTLY, WITH BEST OF INTENTIONS, ALWAYS SAID, “DO YOUR PARENTS KNOW?” ELI SAID, “ONE DOES. MY PARENTS ARE DIVORCED.” THAT TEACHER ASKED ELI TO GET PERMISSION FROM BOTH PARENTS IN ORDER TO HONOR THAT REQUEST BECAUSE THEY– THE TEACHER– HAD A FRIEND, WHO THIS HAPPENED TO, AND IT HURT THEIR FRIEND SO MUCH THAT THAT TEACHER BROUGHT THAT PERSONAL STORY IN, AND WHEN THAT STUDENT LEFT THAT CLASS, THEY TOLD ME, ELI, THAT HE THOUGHT THE WORLD HATED HIM. REMEMBER THE STATISTICS THAT WE HAVE? ELI COULD HAVE BEEN A CASUALTY. IS THAT WHAT WE WANT? DO WE WANT TO IMPOSE JUDGMENT, PERSONAL VIEWS? DO WE REALLY THINK THAT TRANSGENDER, NON-BINARY STUDENTS WANT TO GO INTO A BATHROOM TO DO THE THINGS– THE HORRIFIC THINGS THAT I’M HEARING? NO, THEY WANT TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. THEY’RE KIDS. THEY WANT TO USE THE BATHROOM, AND THEY WILL LEAVE SCHOOL WITHOUT GOING TO THE BATHROOM. IF A STUDENT IS NOT EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE TO LEARN, TO BE THERE, THEY WILL NOT ENGAGE. THEY ARE EMOTIONAL AND THEIR SAFETY– IT IS MY JOB TO KEEP THEM SAFE, TO HAVE THEM ENGAGE, TO GRADUATE WITH STATISTICS LIKE THEIR PEERS WHO ARE HETEROSEXUAL– TO NOT LIVE IN FEAR. I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY, BUT I WILL STOP TO RESPECT EVERYBODY. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>SEAN KENNEDY, FOLLOWED BY CHRISTOPHER JAEGER.>>THANK YOU BOARD FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK TODAY. I THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR STATE AND APPRECIATE THE HARD WORK YOU HAVE TO DO BEFORE YOU. I COME AS A FATHER– I ACTUALLY HAVE NINE CHILDREN, MY WIFE AND I DO TOGETHER– WE’RE BLESSED. ALSO COMING TO YOU AS A YOUTH PASTOR FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS, AND I HAVE STUDENTS AND PARENTS COMING TO ME THAT HAVE HEARD OF THIS ISSUE, AND THEY HAVE CONCERNS. THEY HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT PARENTAL RIGHTS AND THE WHOLE BATHROOM, LOCKER ROOM SITUATION. AND I STAND BEFORE YOU TODAY TO SAY PASSING A POLICY ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE, NECESSARILY, THE REACTION OF– I KNOW WE HAVE HEARD TESTIMONY TODAY OF SOMEBODY WHO GOT BEAT UP IN A RESTROOM. I THINK THAT– WELL, I KNOW THE– THE KEY TO THAT IS RESPECT OF YOUR FELLOW MANKIND. IT’S NOT AN ISSUE OF– OF THAT, BUT IT’S RESPECT OF MANKIND. AND I’M GOING TO SAY, I THINK WE’RE GOING TO OPEN UP A PANDORA’S BOX OF PROBLEMS, BY PASSING THE POLICY AS IT IS, AND I WOULD JUST ASK YOU TO RECONSIDER THIS POLICY. IT MAY JUST MOVE THAT UNFORTUNATE AND TRAGIC BULLYING OF A STUDENT TO ANOTHER LOCATION, ALL RIGHT? NOT NECESSARILY– AND SO I DON’T THINK IT’S THE SOLUTION. I THINK DEFINITELY, WE DO NEED TO SUPPORT THE SAFETY OF ALL OF OUR STUDENTS, BUT I DON’T THINK THIS POLICY IS IT. AND I WOULD ASK YOU TO RECONSIDER, AND I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU, SIR.>>CHRISTOPHER JAEGER, FOLLOWED BY MATT ANDERSSON.>>MATT HAD TO LEAVE, SO THAT WILL SAVE YOU SOME TIME.>>I APPRECIATE THAT INFORMATION.>>NO PROBLEM. I’M CHRIS JAEGER, SWARTZ CREEK, MICHIGAN. I’M GOING TO START OFF WITH A STORY. I GRADUATED FROM GRAND BLANC HIGH SCHOOL A LONG TIME AGO– FEELING LIKE A LONG TIME AGO– 1993. BETWEEN MY 15 AND 16 YEAR BIRTHDAY, BETWEEN MY SOPHOMORE AND JUNIOR YEAR, I MADE A COGNIZANT DECISION THAT CHANGED MY HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS. WALKING IN MY JUNIOR YEAR, I WAS MADE FUN OF. I WAS BULLIED. I HAD MY BOOKS– I DIDN’T CARRY A BACKPACK, I CARRIED THE BOOKS IN MY HAND. I HAD MY BOOKS KNOCKED OUT OF MY HANDS. I HAD MY TEACHERS TELL ME I CAN’T DO WHAT I WAS DOING. I WAS– I WAS– STARTED AND WANTED TO DO AN AGENDA WITH– WITH MY CLASS AT GRADUATION. I WAS KNOCKED DOWN BECAUSE I COULDN’T BE SUPPORTED. IN EVERY WAY, SHAPE, AND FORM, I WAS MARGINALIZED, ABUSED, MENTALLY– NEVER PHYSICALLY, BUT MENTALLY, SOCIALLY, AND YOU KNOW WHAT, I’M NOT TRANSGENDER, I’M NOT LGBTQ. I CARRIED MY BIBLE TO SCHOOL. BUT I DIDN’T GO RUNNING TO MY PRINCIPAL AND SAYING, “I’M GETTING BEAT UP.” I REALIZED WHEN I TAKE A STAND FOR SOMETHING THAT I BELIEVE IN, THERE’S NOT GOING TO BE EVERYBODY THAT IS GOING TO AGREE WITH ME. NOT EVERYBODY IS GOING TO LOOK AT ME AND SAY, “I DO WHAT YOU DO.” WHEN YOU TAKE THE STAND FOR SOMETHING, YOU RECOGNIZE THAT THERE’S A GREAT MAJORITY THAT DOESN’T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU. MY FRIENDS DIDN’T WANT TO EAT LUNCH WITH ME. I ENDED UP EATING LUNCH IN THE– WELL, DIDN’T EAT LUNCH. I WENT TO THE LIBRARY BECAUSE– AND SAT THROUGH LUNCH CLASS, BECAUSE ALL OF MY FRIENDS REJECTED ME, AND I GOT MADE FUN OF ALL THROUGH LUNCHTIME: “HEY, THERE’S THE BIBLE GUY. HEY, WHY DON’T YOU PREACH TO US? HEY, WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? ARE YOU GOING TO STAND UP AND MAKE US CHRISTIAN?” I GOT IT ALL. AFFLUENT HIGH SCHOOL. IF YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH GRAND BLANC, IT’S JUST OUTSIDE OF FLINT AND IS AN AFFLUENT AREA. IT’S NOT JUST– IT’S NOT POVERTY. IT’S NOT– IT’S AFFLUENCE, IT’S EVERYTHING. LISTEN, I REJECT THE PROPOSAL BECAUSE HERE IS THE REALITY: IF THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE A STAND, REALIZE THAT WHEN YOU MAKE A STAND FOR SOMETHING, YOU ARE GOING TO GET MADE FUN OF. AND FOR US TO SIT THERE AND SAY, “WELL, WE’RE GOING TO PROTECT THIS GROUP, BUT YET, WE’RE NOT GOING TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT SOMEBODY IN THIS AREA, OR THIS AREA, OR THIS AREA,” I JUST THINK YOU ARE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ONE FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF OTHERS. IF WE WANT TO SAY THAT WE’RE NOT GOING TO DISCRIMINATE– OR NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ALL, BUT MAKE IT FAIR FOR EVERYONE, LISTEN, WE HAVE GOT TO REALIZE THAT LIFTING UP ONE GROUP MARGINALIZES A WHOLE OTHER GROUP. I DIDN’T EXPECT EVERYBODY TO CARRY THE BIBLE OR EXPECT EVERYBODY TO ACCEPT ME, BUT I WAS GOING TO TAKE A STAND. AND MAYBE THAT’S WHAT WE NEED TO LET THESE STUDENTS DO. IF THAT’S WHAT THEY BELIEVE, LET THEM TAKE A STAND, AND STOP TRYING TO LEGISLATE EVERYTHING AND MAKE EVERYBODY DO WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO. SOMETIMES TAKING A STAND COSTS. THANK YOU GUYS.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>ERIKA SPITZFADEN, FOLLOWED BY JAMES TUFFLE. ERICA HERE? IS JAMES HERE?>>ERICA IS HERE.>>OH, ERICA.>>I’M SORRY– I DIDN’T HAVE ACCESS TO THE LIST, BUT– MY NAME IS ERIKA SPITZFADEN. WELL, NOT LEGALLY– NOT YET. IT IS A PROCESS THAT TAKES TIME. I WOULD LIKE TO TELL A STORY– MY STORY– ABOUT HOW I CAME TO TERMS WITH BEING TRANSGENDER AND COMING OUT AT WORK. I’D LIKE TO TELL YOU THAT I ALWAYS KNEW, BUT IT WASN’T LIKE THAT FOR ME. I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING, I JUST DIDN’T HAVE THE WORDS FOR IT. I REMEMBER STORIES OF MY FATHER THAT HE DIDN’T WANT HIS BOYS HAVING DOLLS AND GROWING UP SISSIES. I REMEMBER AS A TEEN MAKING MYSELF EARRINGS AND SKIRTS, AND NEVER REALLY FEELING COMFORTABLE WITH MY BIRTH GENDER. NOT SURE THAT MY FRIENDS OR PARENTS WOULD UNDERSTAND, AND NOT HAVING THE WORDS TO EXPRESS WHAT WAS WRONG, I KEPT IT TO MYSELF. I TRIED TO BURY IT. I MET SOMEONE SPECIAL, I GOT MARRIED AND HAD KIDS. BUT IT WAS ALWAYS THERE. AS TIME WENT BY, I FOUND MORE AND MORE RESOURCES. TRANSGENDER BECAME A WORD I UNDERSTOOD. I KNEW IT WAS ME ABOUT A YEAR AGO, APRIL OF 2015. MY WIFE WAS THE FIRST PERSON I TOLD. WE TOLD THE KIDS. IT TOOK A MONTH BEFORE I TALKED TO HR AT WORK, AND ANOTHER MONTH BEFORE THEY GOT BACK TO ME. AND THEN, NOTHING. THERE REALLY WASN’T ANYTHING TO DO AT WORK. THEY WANTED MY APPEARANCE TO BE AS PROFESSIONAL AS POSSIBLE. I LET MY HAIR GROW, UPDATED BY WARDROBE. THE LGBTQ PRIDE WAS IN AUGUST OF THAT YEAR. I WANTED TO PARTICIPATE, BUT PRIDE WAS A PUBLIC EVENT. I CHECKED WITH HR AGAIN. I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PERSON THAT OWNED THE COMPANY KNEW. I DIDN’T WANT HIM FINDING OUT SECOND HAND AGAIN, I WAS REASSURED THAT THE COMPANY WOULD WORK WITH ME AND EVERYTHING WOULD BE FINE. AT THIS POINT, EVERYONE ABOVE ME AT WORK KNEW, AND A FEW CLOSE FRIENDS. I PLANNED IN JANUARY OF 2016 TO COME OUT, NINE MONTHS AFTER I FIGURED IT OUT FOR MYSELF. THAT IS HOW LONG THE PROCESS HAS TAKEN, AND IT’S STILL NOT DONE. THERE IS A MYTH THAT THE SCHOOLS WILL LET BOYS IN THE SHOWERS, AND GIRLS IN THE SHOWERS WITH THE BOYS, AND THEY’LL BE USING EACH OTHER’S BATHROOMS AND IT WILL BE TOTAL CHAOS. THAT’S NOT THE WAY IT WORKS. THESE KIDS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK THROUGH THIS. THEY NEED SOMEONE TO TRUST, AND IT MAY NOT BE PARENTS. THE TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS, AND COUNSELORS KNOW THESE STUDENTS. THEY KNOW WHERE THEY BELONG. IT’S A PROCESS. IT TAKES TIME. THESE STUDENTS NEED OUR SUPPORT. IT MAY BE THE ONLY SUPPORT THEY GET. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>JAMES TUPPLE, FOLLOWED BY BRENDA BATTLE JORDAN.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK. I FEEL IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND INVOLVEMENT, JUST SO YOU GUYS AREN’T GOING IN BLIND. I WOULD FIRST LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR DRAFTING THESE GUIDELINES. I BELIEVE THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO BE– TO MAKE SURE THAT KIDS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE ABLE TO LIVE THEIR LIVES AS THEIR TRUE SELVES. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO REMIND THAT THESE GUIDELINES ARE NOT MANDATORY, WHICH I THINK IS GREAT, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU CAN’T FORCE PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT THEY DON’T WANT TO DO, AND IF PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY ARE BEING FORCED YOU GET A LOT OF RESENTMENT, SO I FEEL LIKE MAKING THEM VOLUNTARY IS EXCELLENT, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE THIS WILL SHOW THE SCHOOLS THAT DO ADOPT THESE POLICIES REALLY DO CARE, AND THEY ARE NOT JUST DOING IT TO KEEP THEIR FUNDING. I’LL KEEP IT VERY SHORT. BASICALLY, I FEEL LIKE I WANT TO IMPLORE YOU GUYS TO IGNORE ALL OF THE BACKLASH AND ALL OF THE RHETORIC THAT HAS FOUNDED. AND DON’T ALLOW MICHIGAN TO BE THE NEXT NORTH CAROLINA. THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>BRENDA BATTLE JORDAN FOLLOWED BY DERRICK BALL.>>THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME THIS OPPORTUNITY. AGAIN, MY NAME IS BRENDA BATTLE JORDAN, I’M THE DEAN OF THE WESTWOOD HEIGHTS SCHOOL BOARD. I TOOK THE CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS FROM OUR CONSERVATIVE HILLSDALE COLLEGE. NO NEED TO SAY I’M A REPUBLICAN, BECAUSE I THINK YOU’LL SEE THAT. A CALL TO ACTION. THE PLAN TO ALLOW BOYS AND GIRLS TO USE WHATEVER BATHROOMS THEY WANT, WHATEVER SHOWER THEY WANT AT SCHOOL– KIDS– I’M TALKING ABOUT KIDS, NOW– ANYWHERE. KIDS DON’T MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS. THESE DECISIONS ARE BEING MADE BY ADULTS. KIDS DO WHAT THEY ARE TOLD. THEY DON’T JUST SAY, “I’M GOING TO THE BOYS BATHROOM, BECAUSE I THINK I’M A BOY,” AND THE NEXT DAY, “WELL, I THINK I’M A GIRL– I’M GOING TO THE GIRLS BATHROOM.” NO– KIDS DON’T GET TO MAKE THOSE CHOICES. THAT’S SOMETHING THAT’S SET IN PLACE BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, NUMBER ONE, WHEN YOU’RE IN A SCHOOL DISTRICT, BECAUSE I’M ON THE SCHOOL BOARD AT THE WESTWOOD HEIGHTS SCHOOL DISTRICT. WE DON’T WANT MORE LAWSUITS, I CAN TELL YOU THAT. BUT I CAN TELL YOU THIS TOO: WE DON’T WANT LITTLE BITTY ONES RUNNING AROUND, BECAUSE SOME OF THE GIRLS ARE OF AGE THAT YOU KNOW– THAT THEY CAN SAY, “WE ARE JUST GOING TO GO TO THE BATHROOM WITH JOHNNY.” NO. BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT THIS GOING ON IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. ADULTS, YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT. BUT KIDS, THEY ARE UNDER OUR CONTROL, AND IF WE’RE GOING TO BE THE ADULTS, WE NEED TO ACT LIKE IT. NOW, I’M NOT JUST SAYING THIS BECAUSE I’M A REPUBLICAN, BECAUSE THIS GOES ACROSS THE AISLE. ANYBODY WITH COMMON SENSE KNOWS THAT A GIRL SHOULD GO TO THE GIRLS RESTROOM, AND A BOY SHOULD GO TO THE BOYS. NOW, IF YOU HAVE A UNISEX FOR HIGH SCHOOL– FOR COLLEGE OR WHEREVER– ANY OTHER PLACE YOU WANT, YOU CAN DO THAT. BUT CHILDREN HAVE TO REMAIN CHILDREN UNTIL THEY ARE ADULTS AND OUT ON THEIR OWN. THEN THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT, BUT AS LONG AS WE HAVE THE CONTROL OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION– AND I JUST HOPE YOU GUYS– I JUST HOPE YOU GUYS MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION ON THIS, BECAUSE WHATEVER YOU DO, IT TRICKLES DOWN TO US. BECAUSE I’M THE ONLY CONSERVATIVE ON THE BOARD. SO I GO ALONE– I HAVE TO DEAL WITH A LOT ALREADY. SO I JUST HOPE YOU GET THIS RIGHT.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>DERRICK BALL IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY WILLIAM COONZ.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. DO I HAVE TO USE THE CHAIR?>>NOPE, YOU CAN STAND.>>AWESOME. CAN EVERYONE HEAR ME OKAY?>>MMM-HMM.>>ALL RIGHT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. MY NAME IS DERRICK BALL. I’M REPRESENTING MY FAMILY. I HAVE IN MY HANDS $500 IN MONOPOLY MONEY. GOING UP TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER FOR SALE FOR $100. ANYONE WANT IT? $500 FOR 100. NO ONE WANTS IT. IT’S A SHAME. WELL, I WOULD LIKE TO READ THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION GUIDELINES, PAGE 2– PAGE 2, SECOND PARAGRAPH, LAST SENTENCE. AND IT READS AS FOLLOWS: “STUDENTS SHOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY, FAIRLY, AND BE PROTECTED FROM DISCRIMINATION BASED ON THEIR REAL OR PERCEIVED SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY OR GENDER EXPRESSION.” THERE ARE THREE WORDS IN THAT THAT TRULY STAND OUT, AND THAT IS “REAL OR PERCEIVED,” BECAUSE REALITY MATTERS. THESE GUIDELINES, IF THEY WERE WRITTEN BY YOU AND IF YOU WERE GIVING THEM TO ANY TEACHER IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, THEY WOULD GIVE YOU AN F BECAUSE THEY ARE SO ONE-SIDED. THEY ARE– THIS IS NOT RESEARCH. THIS IS A SLANT. THIS IS A PUSH AND A CRAM DOWN OUR THROATS EVERYTHING FROM GLSEN, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER, LAMBDA, AND SOME– I DON’T KNOW– IT SAYS ON HERE “UNPUBLISHED DATA.” LOVE THAT ONE. IF I HADN’T GIVEN THE RESULTS ON THAT ONE, I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THAT. NOTHING FROM LIBERTY COUNCIL, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, OR ANY OTHER NATIONAL CENTER– NATIONAL CENTER FOR FATHERING. DID YOU EVEN CONSIDER ANY OF THE DATA ON FAMILIES AND FATHERS, ESPECIALLY FATHERS? DO YOU KNOW THAT FATHERS DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO? THE MORE FATHERS THAT YOU HAVE IN THE HOME, DECREASE– LISTEN TO THESE: FATHERS INCREASE GRADUATION, INCREASE SELF-CONTROL, RESPECT FOR OTHERS. FATHERS DECREASE TEEN SUICIDE, DEPRESSION, OBESITY, CRIME, AND RECIDIVISM RATES, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS LIKE GENDER IDENTITY CONFUSION. YOU’VE– YOU– THESE GUIDELINES ARE DESTROYING PARENTAL RIGHTS, PRIVACY RIGHTS AND RELIGIOUS RIGHTS. REALITY MATTERS. HERE IS THE REALITY: EVERY ONE OF US IN THIS ROOM, AND ALL OF OUR KIDS, HURT. THAT IS REALITY. THERE IS HURT ALL AROUND US. I AM NOT GOING TO MITIGATE ANYONE’S HURT THAT THEY HAVE IN THEIR LIFE OR– OR ANYTHING THAT THEY HAVE DONE. BUT HERE IS THE THING: HURT PEOPLE HURT OTHER PEOPLE. THESE GUIDELINES WERE WRITTEN BY GLSEN, LAMBDA, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTRE. THEY ARE HURT PEOPLE, AND THEY WILL HURT OTHER PEOPLE, AND THEY WILL HURT THE PEOPLE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO HELP. THEY WILL NOT HELP. THEY WILL HURT. I– REAL– THREE WORDS: REAL OR PERCEIVED. EVERYTHING HINGES ON THAT. I CHOOSE REAL. MY MONEY IS STILL THERE. ANYONE WANT IT? YOU DON’T BELIEVE IT’S REAL. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>WILLIAM COONZ, FOLLOWED BY KATHERINE FITZNER.>>HELLO. I WOULD JUST LIKE TO EXPLAIN MY LENS. I HAVE A TRANSGENDER SON. AND MY TRANSGENDER SON WAS ABUSED AS A CHILD, MOSTLY BY ADULTS. SO WHEN YOU SAY, “THE ADULTS NEED TO DO THIS, THE PARENTS NEED TO–” WELL, THE PARENTS WERE ABUSING HIM. NOT WHEN I WAS THERE– WHEN I WASN’T THERE. THE KIDS TEASED MY KID ABOUT SEXUALITY, WHICH I THOUGHT WAS PAINFUL, BUT THE ADULTS WOULD CHASE MY KID OUT OF A BATHROOM. SO MY KID LEARNED NOT TO DRINK ALL DAY LONG. SUFFERED DEHYDRATION, HEADACHES– WHAT KIND OF A LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IS THAT? SO WHATEVER YOU DO TO PROTECT THESE KIDS, YOU ARE DOING GOD’S WORK. IT CLEARLY SAYS IN THE BIBLE, “JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED.” HOW ARE WE JUDGING THESE KIDS? I KNOW A LOT OF THE TRANSGENDER KIDS. THEY WOULDN’T HURT A FLY. THEY’RE LOVING KIDS. ALL THEY ASK FOR IS LOVE. AND THAT’S WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, LOVE. IT DOESN’T SAY, “JESUS SAID, ‘HE WHO IS FREE FROM SIN, CAST THE FIRST STONE, UNLESS HE’S GAY– THEN GO AHEAD AND STONE HIM.” NO– IT DOESN’T SAY THAT. I’M CERTAIN IT DOESN’T– I’M POSITIVE. WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS WE NEED TO LOVE THESE KIDS. WE NEED TO EDUCATE THESE KIDS. INCLUSION, NOT DIVISIVENESS. I RESPECT EVERY MINUTE OF YOUR TIME. I KNOW IT’S AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TASK AHEAD OF YOU. MAYBE THIS ISN’T PERFECT. COME UP WITH SOMETHING. STOPPING THE BULLIES HAS TO BE THE PARAMOUNT CONSIDERATION OF ANY EDUCATION. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN BULLIED? JUST THINK FOR ONE SECOND– IF YOU ARE BULLIED, WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND? “HOW DO I GET EVEN? HOW DO I GET BACK AT THIS PERSON?” WE DON’T WANT THAT. MOST OF THE KIDS ARE INCLUSIVE. WHEN MY SON WAS– BEFORE THE TRANSITION, WENT TO ANDOVER HIGH SCHOOL AND WAS NOMINATED FOR HOMECOMING PRINCESS. IT WAS CRAZY. HE WENT UP AGAINST A LITTLE CHEERLEADER, BLUE AND WHITE LITTLE RIBBONS IN THE HAIR. MY KID’S WEARING KHAKIS, A BLUE SHIRT, AND A SWEATER. AND AS WE WALKED OUT THERE, THIS WOMAN LOOKED AT ME, AND JUST THOUGHT, “YOU DON’T HAVE A CHANCE AGAINST MY CHEERLEADER.” I KNEW SHE HAD BULLIED MY KID, AND THERE WAS NOTHING I WANTED MORE THAN FOR THE KIDS TO STAND UP AND DO WHAT WAS RIGHT. AND AS WE WALKED DOWN THERE, I THOUGHT, “I HOPE THIS ISN’T HUMILIATING FOR MY KID.” AND WHEN THEY ANNOUNCED THAT MY KID HAS WON THE HOMECOMING PRINCESS, SHE GAVE THE CROWD ONE OF THESE. AND THE CROWD WENT NUTS, THEY STOOD AND CHEERED. AND I THOUGHT, “THAT’S LOVE.” AND I WANTED TO TELL THAT LADY, “YOU KNOW, YOU ARE A BULLY, AND YOU WILL NEVER WIN BECAUSE YOU DON’T LOVE. YOU DON’T LOVE WITH YOUR HEART.” SO THINK DEEPLY ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO. BUT THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. I COULD TALK FOR 30 MORE MINUTES, BUT I HAVE GOT 2 SECONDS. THANKS AGAIN.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>KATHERINE FITZNER, FOLLOWED BY SUSAN RUSSEK.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO MY COMMENTS. SIX YEARS AGO WHEN MY SON SPENCER, THEN 14, CAME OUT TO MY HUSBAND AND I AND TRANSGENDER, MY REACTION WAS FEAR. I FEARED FOR HIS SAFETY. AT THE TIME, WE KNEW LITTLE ABOUT THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY, AND THOUGH WE LOVED SPENCER VERY MUCH AND WOULD SUPPORT HIM IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE, WE KNEW THAT MANY CHALLENGES LAY AHEAD FOR HIM. SOON AFTER COMING OUT TO US, SPENCER STARTED LIVING AT HOME AS A BOY, AND HE SLOWLY BEGAN THE PROCESS OF INFORMING OTHERS, BEGINNING WITH HIS EXTENDED FAMILY, GOOD FRIENDS, CHURCH, AND FINALLY HIS SCHOOL. WHAT’S WELL-KNOWN WITHIN THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY AS “THE BATHROOM ISSUE” IS WHAT FORCED SPENCER TO COME OUT AT SCHOOL. HE USED TO BEG ME TO PICK HIM UP IMMEDIATELY WHEN SCHOOL WAS OUT, EVEN THOUGH HIS DAD WORKED NEXT DOOR AND GOT OFF ONLY 15 MINUTES LATER. IT TOOK ME A WHILE BEFORE I UNDERSTOOD WHY. WHEN I PICKED HIM UP, SPENCER ALWAYS HAD TO GO TO THE BATHROOM REALLY BAD. IT TURNED OUT HE HAD BEEN HOLDING IT ALL DAY LONG, EVERY DAY. THOUGH STILL PERCEIVED AS A GIRL AT SCHOOL, NOW THAT SPENCER HAD BEGUN HIS SOCIAL TRANSITIONING AT HOME, HE NO LONGER FELT COMFORTABLE USING THE GIRLS BATHROOM, AND HE CERTAINLY COULDN’T USE THE BOYS BATHROOM. SO HE WOULD HOLD IT ALL DAY LONG. CAN YOU IMAGINE? I HAVE BEEN IN SITUATIONS WHERE I REALLY HAD TO GO, BUT THERE WERE NO BATHROOMS AVAILABLE. I CAN RECALL HOW UNCOMFORTABLE, EVEN PAINFUL, THAT FEELING CAN BE. AND YET, FOR SPENCER, WHILE THERE WERE PLENTY OF BATHROOMS AVAILABLE, THERE WERE NONE HE FELT HE COULD USE, AND I CAN’T IMAGINE TRYING TO LEARN UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS. I’VE READ MANY OF THE ONLINE COMMENTS REGARDING THIS DRAFT DOCUMENT, AND AS THE PARENT OF A TRANS CHILD, IT’S ALWAYS DIFFICULT TO READ COMMENTS ABOUT THE ISSUES RELATED TO THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY. THEY ARE OFTENTIMES FILLED WITH HATRED AND VITRIOL, AND BASED ON A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY. AS THE MOTHER OF A TRANS SON, THEY CAN BE TERRIBLY HURTFUL. SOMETIMES I THINK WE’RE MAKING SUCH GREAT STRIDES IN THE UNDERSTANDING, ACCEPTANCE, AND SUPPORT OF THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY. AND THEN I READ SOMETHING SO ALARMING THAT THE FEAR I FELT FOR MY SON’S SAFETY THE DAY HE CAME OUT RETURNS AND OVERWHELMS ME. SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT THESE CHILDREN ARE MAKING A CHOICE, SEEKING ATTENTION, OR BEING REBELLIOUS. BUT NOBODY WOULD CHOOSE TO ENDURE THE HARDSHIP, PAIN AND ISOLATION THAT MANY OF THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY FACE. IT IS NOT A WHIM. IT’S NOT A FAD OR A FASHION. THESE CHILDREN OWN THEIR GENDER AS DEEPLY AS YOU OWN YOURS. AS MUCH AS YOU MIGHT FIND IT OFFENSIVE TO BE FORCED TO USE THE BATHROOM OF THE OPPOSITE GENDER, SO DO THEY. TO THE CONCERNED PARENTS OF NON-TRANSGENDER, OR CISGENDER, CHILDREN, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THOSE IN THE TRANSGENDER AND GENDER NONCONFORMING COMMUNITY ARE NOT PERVERTS AND PEDOPHILES. THEY ARE NOT BOYS IN GIRL’S CLOTHING. THEY ARE GIRLS, REGARDLESS OF WHAT IS BELOW THEIR WAIST. THEY ARE NOT WAITING IN THE BATHROOM TO CHECK YOUR CHILDREN OUT. THEY ARE EAGER TO DO THEIR BUSINESS IN PRIVATE AND LEAVE. I APPLAUD THE MICHIGAN BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR PRESENTING THIS DRAFT DOCUMENT. PLEASE STAND FIRM IN YOUR COMMITMENT TO PROVIDING A SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>I JUST WANT TO REMIND EVERYBODY THAT WE DO HAVE THE 3-MINUTE LIMIT. I KNOW WE STILL HAVE OVER 120 PEOPLE OR SO TO SPEAK, AND WE WANT TO BE RESPECTFUL, SO THANK YOU.>>SUSAN RUSSEK, FOLLOWED BY ZOE RUSSEK-STEINFIELD.>>SUSAN IS MY WIFE AND SHE HAD TO LEAVE FOR WORK– MY I READ HER COMMENT?>>YEP.>>THANK YOU.>>MY I HAVE YOUR NAME, PLEASE?>>CHARLES STEINFIELD.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK. I’M HERE TO SUPPORT THE GUIDELINES THAT THE BOARD HAS CREATED. WE HAVE A TRANS DAUGHTER. WHEN SHE CAME OUT TO US, IT WAS SOMETHING THAT CAUSED US A LOT OF CONCERN, BUT THE FIRST THING WE DID WAS TO EDUCATE OURSELVES ABOUT THIS CONDITION. WE EDUCATED OURSELVES BY CONNECTING WITH MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS AND THE RESEARCH COMMUNITY, AND WE FEEL THAT WE KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ISSUE. WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO– I JUST WANT TO COMMENT THAT I THINK MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE VEHEMENTLY OPPOSED TO THE GUIDELINES ARE OBTAINING THEIR INFORMATION FROM AT BEST, UNINFORMED MEDIA SOURCES AND AT WORST, FROM SOURCES THAT HAVE A SPECIFIC AGENDA, AND AREN’T REALLY PROVIDING INFORMATION BASED ON ACTUAL MEDICAL RESEARCH INFORMATION. IT’S REALLY PROPAGANDA. I WANT TO SAY THAT, REALLY, OTHERWISE LIKE FAIR-MINDED AND HONEST PEOPLE WHO ARE SWEPT UP BY THE BATHROOM SCARE TACTICS, YOU REALLY NEED TO STOP AND THINK. PEOPLE WHO ARE LURKING IN BATHROOMS TO ASSAULT OTHERS YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW SHOULD BE PUNISHED, AND WE ALL KNOW THAT. AND MIXING UP THE NEED FOR PUBLIC FACILITIES WITH THE DESIRE TO COMMIT CRIMES IS NOT A FAIR-MINDED, HONEST THING TO DO. FOR MANY PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THE ONES PROPAGATING THIS IDEA, IT BEGS THE QUESTION, “WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ARE– THAT YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO SEE? DO YOU REALLY WANT TO PREVENT TRANS PEOPLE FROM LEAVING HOME, SEEKING JOBS, FINDING DECENT HOUSING, SHOPPING IN STORES WE FREQUENT, SITTING NEXT TO US IN RESTAURANTS AND MOVIE THEATRES, AND SUPPORTING THEIR FAMILIES?” MOST OF US KNOW THAT THE BATHROOM SCARE TACTICS AREN’T REALLY ABOUT SAVING CHILDREN. IF IT WAS, THEN BASED ON SHEER STATISTICS, THERE WOULD BE MANY OTHER SEGMENTS OF THE POPULATION WE WOULD BE PROHIBITING FROM USING RESTROOMS THAN TRANS PEOPLE. IT’S REALLY DISCRIMINATION. MANY PARENTS HAVE THREATENED TO REMOVE THEIR CHILDREN FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS IF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE HONORED BY MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. AND THAT’S CERTAINLY THEIR RIGHT, BUT IT’S NOT THEIR RIGHT TO EXPECT THAT A PUBLIC SCHOOL CAN DISCRIMINATE AGAINST A CHILD THAT THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND OR THAT PEOPLE DON’T PARTICULARLY CARE FOR. IT’S NOT THEIR RIGHT TO DECIDE WHO GETS TO USE PUBLIC FACILITIES THAT WE ALL PAY FOR IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING. AND IT’S NOT THEIR RIGHT TO QUOTE RELIGIOUS GROUPS DISGUISING THEMSELVES AS PEDIATRICIANS AND SCIENTISTS TO TRY TO PUSH AN AGENDA OF HATE AND FEAR. WHEN MY FAMILY DECIDED THAT WE NEEDED TO LEARN ABOUT TRANSGENDER ISSUES, WE LISTENED TO OUR DAUGHTER AND MANY OTHER OUTSIDE SOURCES RESPECTED IN MEDICAL FIELDS. WE LISTENED TO MEDICAL INSTITUTIONS TO MICHIGAN’S MAJOR UNIVERSITIES. DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE ON THIS SUBJECT IS CLEARLY MISSING FROM MANY OF THE STATEMENTS WE HEARD HERE OPPOSING THESE GUIDELINES. SO I– I SUPPORT YOUR EFFORTS AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE RIGHT TO SPEAK. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>ZOE RUSSEK-STEINFIELD, FOLLOWED BY AIDEN RAMIREZ TATUM.>>MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK. MY NAME IS ZOE STEINFIELD, AND I’M A TRANSGENDER WOMAN. I’M ALSO A GRADUATE STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE BOARD FOR UPHOLDING THE RIGHTS OF LGBTQ STUDENTS AND ESPECIALLY FOR PROVIDING WELL-CONSIDERED AND SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR HOW SCHOOLS CAN TREAT TRANSGENDER STUDENTS FAIRLY. THE BEAUTY OF THESE GUIDELINES IS THAT EACH ONE OF THEM IS THE END RESULT OF USING COMMON SENSE, PROVIDING THAT YOU BEGIN WITH ONE VERY SIMPLE PROPOSITION: THAT LGBTQ PEOPLE ARE HUMAN BEINGS AND WE DESERVE TO BE TREATED AS SUCH. UNFORTUNATELY, SO MANY OF THE VOICES WE’VE BEEN HEARING IN THIS STATE AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AND RIGHT HERE, ARE ATTEMPTING TO DENY THE BASIC FACT OF OUR HUMANITY. MANY WHO HAVE CHALLENGED THESE GUIDELINES HAVE DONE SO UNDER THE PRETEXT OF SEEKING A FAIR AND BALANCED COMPROMISE. THEY CLAIM THAT THE GUIDANCE ATTEMPTS TO PROVIDE SAFETY AND EQUALITY FOR TRANSGENDER STUDENTS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SAFETY AND EQUALITY OF THEIR NON-TRANSGENDER DAUGHTERS. THE IMPLICATION, OF COURSE, IS THAT THE VERY PRESENCE OF TRANSGENDER GIRLS AND WOMEN USING THE SAME PUBLIC FACILITIES IS A THREAT. THE ACCUSATION IN THIS IS THAT I AM A THREAT. I CAN’T BEGIN TO EXPLAIN HOW HURT AND ANGRY I FEEL WHEN I HEAR THIS LIE REPEATED. I AM NOT DANGEROUS. I AM A PERSON WHO, LIKE MOST PEOPLE, NEEDS TO USE THE BATHROOM SOMETIMES. I’M A WOMAN WHO, LIKE MOST WOMEN, REFUSES TO BE FORCED OUT OF PUBLIC LIFE, OR MISCATEGORIZED AS A MAN, OR SEPARATED FROM MY PEERS LIKE A SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN. I AM A TRANSGENDER WOMAN WHO IS INTENSELY AWARE OF THE STATISTICAL FACTS THAT WOMEN LIKE ME ARE AT FAR GREATER RISK OF BEING HARASSED IN THE BATHROOM OR OF VIOLENCE AT THE HANDS OF MEN. I KNOW THAT MUCH OF THE OPPOSITION TO THESE GUIDELINES COMES FROM A PLACE OF FEAR– FEAR OF WHAT IS DIFFERENT AND CONFUSING TO SOME PEOPLE. I WOULD ASK THESE PEOPLE TO TRY TO IMAGINE A DIFFERENT KIND OF FEAR– THE FEAR I FEEL EVERY DAY AS A TRANSGENDER WOMAN AND STUDENT. WHEN I USE THE RESTROOM, I DON’T KNOW IF THE PERSON NEXT TO ME WOULD HATE ME IF THEY KNEW I WAS DIFFERENT. I’M TERRIFIED THAT SOMEONE WILL SPEAK TO ME, BECAUSE THAT WOULD MEAN I MIGHT HAVE TO REPLY AND RISK BEING SCRUTINIZED. I TRY TO GO UNNOTICED BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW IF I WILL BE QUESTIONED, YELLED AT, OR BEATEN FOR THE AUDACITY OF THINKING I HAVE THE RIGHT TO RELIEVE MYSELF. THIS IS THE RESULT OF MY LIVING IN A CULTURE THAT VILIFIES ME FOR MY DIFFERENCE. YET IN THE MIDST OF THIS YEAR OF FEAR MONGERING BATHROOM BILLS AND CONTINUING VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANSGENDER BODIES, I AM PROUD TO BE ABLE TO SAY MY STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION STOOD UP TO THIS CULTURE AND FIRMLY UPHELD MY HUMANITY. I FEEL DEEPLY GRATEFUL FOR THE CHANGES YOU HAVE PROPOSED ON MY BEHALF, AND ON THE BEHALF OF ALL THE CHILDREN WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM A SAFER AND MORE SUPPORTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU. AND I WOULD ASK OUR STAFF TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE ALL OF THE SPEAKING FORMS. SO WE WILL BE CUTTING THEM OFF IN THE NEXT FEW MINUTES. SO IF THERE’S PEOPLE HERE THAT HAVE NOT TURNED IN A FORM, PLEASE DO SO, SO WE CAN CUT IT OFF. WE DO STILL HAVE 100 PEOPLE TO SPEAK, SO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY GETS THAT OPPORTUNITY.>>AIDEN RAMIREZ TATUM IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY ERIN PRATT. IS AIDEN HERE? OKAY, IS ERIN PRATT HERE? HOW ABOUT DANIEL WHITE? BEN WHITE? RYAN FUENS-BLISS? GARY IRISH? NORM HUGHES?>>I’M HEARING NORM HUGHES IS HERE.>>ALL RIGHT, THANKS.>>FOR THE FIRST MINUTE. THE SECOND MINUTE, I’LL BE NORMA HUGHES.>>GEORGE– I’M SORRY. AND I NEED TO TELL YOU GEORGE CULLUS IS ON DECK.>>OKAY, THANK YOU. I HOPE YOU ORDERED DINNER IN. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE GOING TO BE HERE A WHILE. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION HAS A LOT OF PROBLEMS. I CHAIR A STATEWIDE EDUCATION TASK FORCE. WE JUST EMPANELLED OUR FOURTH PHASE OF THAT. THE PROBLEMS WE SEE– THIRD PHASE– THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT STUDY OF EDUCATION– AND WE SAW AN INTERESTING THING THAT IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS OF THE GRANHOLM ADMINISTRATION, AS STUDENT POPULATION STOPPED, THE BUDGET DID TOO. AND UNDER THE NEW REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION, STUDENT POPULATION CONTINUED TO DROP, 6,000, 8,000, 10,000 12,000 STUDENTS A YEAR, WHILE THE BUDGET WENT UP $250 MILLION A YEAR, $250 MILLION THE NEXT YEAR, AND SO ON. THE QUALITY FLATLINED. PUBLIC EDUCATION HAS BEEN THE SACRED COW. WE THROW MORE MONEY AND IT, WE THROW MORE MONEY AND IT, WE THROW MORE MONEY AND IT, AND WE DON’T GET GOOD RESULTS. IF I WERE A MANUFACTURER OF AUTO PARTS AND HAD 3% SCRAP, I’D GO OUT OF BUSINESS. BUT IF A PUBLIC SCHOOL TURNS OUT 50% SCRAP, YOU GET A RAISE. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT PROBLEM, AND WE HOPE YOU WILL ADDRESS THAT. WE FEAR THAT THIS POLICY, IF YOU PUT IT THROUGH, IS GOING TO EXACERBATE THE PROBLEM, BECAUSE WE THINK IT IS GOING TO INCREASE THE LOSS OF STUDENTS MORE RAPIDLY FROM THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I THINK THAT IS VERY CLEAR. MICHIGAN IS 40th IN QUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES. IT’S 34th IN QUALITY IN THE WORLD, DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE ARE THE MOST EXPENSIVE SCHOOL SYSTEM IN THE WORLD– NOT MICHIGAN SPECIFICALLY, BUT THE UNITED STATES. A 5th GRADER IN WIESBADEN GETS 50% MORE INSTRUCTIONAL HOURS THAN A 5th GRADER IN MICHIGAN. WE’RE NOT KEEPING UP. WE MAY GRADUATE 60,000 ENGINEERS IN THE UNITED STATES THIS YEAR WHERE THEY GRADUATE 400,000 IN INDIA AND 600,000 IN CHINA. I THINK PUBLIC EDUCATION IS THE GREATEST NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT, AND IT’S IN YOUR HANDS. BUT I THINK ALSO, WITH RESPECT TO THIS PARTICULAR GUIDANCE THAT YOU WANT TO OFFER, AYN RAND SAID YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT TO DO AS LONG AS YOU DON’T INITIATE A FORCE AGAINST SOMEONE ELSE. YOU WANT TO DO PORN, JUST DON’T PUT IT OUT FOR MY KIDS AND GRANDKIDS TO SEE. IF YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT IN THE BATHROOM OR IN YOUR BEDROOM, THAT’S UP TO YOU. YOUR RIGHT TO SWING YOUR FIST ENDS AT THE BEGINNING OF MY NOSE AND YOU ARE SEEING MAYBE A THIRD OF 1% THAT MIGHT FIT INTO THIS CATEGORY THAT YOU WANT TO PUSH THIS GUIDANCE ON, AND THIS GUIDANCE WILL HAVE THE WEIGHT OF LAW IN MANY CASES. I DON’T THINK YOU ARE CONSIDERING THE RIGHTS OF THE OTHER 99%. I THINK YOU REALLY HAVE TO CONSIDER THAT, OR YOU ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO LOSE STUDENTS AT A GREATER RATE, AND THAT’S– I DON’T THINK IT’S GOOD FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. SO THINK IN TERMS OF WHAT KIND OF A BANG FOR A BUCK YOU ARE GIVING TO STUDENTS IN YOUR SCHOOLS. IT’S NOT GOOD. MOST OF THE GREAT COUNTRIES ARE GETTING THEIR TEACHERS FROM THE TOP THIRD OF THE CLASS. ON A WHOLE, WE GET OURS FROM THE BOTTOM THIRD OF THE CLASS. THERE IS SOMETHING ENDEMICALLY WRONG WITH THE PROCESS. SO WE HOPE AS THE TASK FORCE GOING FORWARD AND STUDIES THE IMPEDIMENTS OF GOOD EDUCATION THAT THE EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT IMPOSES, INCLUDING THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THAT WE’LL HAVE A CHANCE TO COME BACK AND SHARE OUR RESULTS WITH YOU AND WORK ON THAT PROBLEM NEXT. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>GEORGE CULLUS IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY DANAE NELSON.>>THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK. I COME TO YOU TODAY AS A GRANDFATHER AND A FORMER COUNCILMAN, SO ON BOTH LEVELS, I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO MAKE DIFFICULT DECISIONS, BOTH DEALING WITH THE GRANDCHILDREN, AND DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC. I ALSO SERVE IN MY COMMUNITY. I’M THE DIRECTOR OF THE DICKENS FESTIVAL– I’M FROM THE VILLAGE OF HOLLY. I ALSO AM INVOLVED IN THE THEATER PROGRAM IN THE SCHOOLS, AND I HAVE BEEN PART OF HOLLY AREA YOUTH COALITION, DEALING WITH THE KIDS THERE ON YOUTH DIALOGUE DAYS, WHERE THE YOUTH HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME AND TALK TO THE ADULTS AND TELL THEM SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT COME UP AT THE SCHOOL. SO I HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEAL WITH A LOT OF THESE KIDS, AND I’VE HEARD THEIR OPINIONS ON THIS. I FOUND IT INTERESTING TODAY, AS I SIT HERE AND I LISTEN TO SOME OF THE PEOPLE COMING, “IF YOU OPPOSE MY OPINION, IT IS BECAUSE YOU ARE UNEDUCATED AND YOU ARE AFRAID.” I DON’T THINK THAT’S WHERE I COME FROM AS I SIT HERE. I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE BOTH EDUCATED AND, WHEN IT COMES TO THE KIDS, PRETTY FEARLESS. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WE ARE THERE TO PROTECT. WE HAVE A ROOM FULL OF ADULTS MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT OUR CHILDREN, MUCH LIKE PARENTS DO. TODAY, I FOUND MYSELF COMING TO THIS HEARING OUT OF THE CRY OF ONE OF THOSE STUDENTS I’M INVOLVED WITH. SHE WILL BE FOLLOWING ME NEXT AT THIS PODIUM. THIS YOUNG LADY I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH SINCE SHE WAS 12. I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH HER THROUGH THE THEATER PROGRAM, THROUGH THE DICKENS FESTIVAL, THROUGH HER SCHOOL. SHE IS A SURVIVOR OF A SUICIDE ATTEMPT. WE ARE ALL BLESSED TO HAVE HER WITH US TO THIS DAY. AND SHE WANTED AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE HER VOICE HEARD, AND I SAW TO IT THAT THAT OPPORTUNITY WAS HERE. SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>DANAE NELSON, FOLLOWED BY TIM LARRABEE.>>HI, EVERYONE. I’M DANAE. I JUST WANT TO START OFF BY THANKING YOU FOR LETTING ME BE HERE AND SPEAKING ABOUT THIS. AS MR. CULLUS SAID, I’M A STUDENT AT HOLLY HIGH SCHOOL. I AM A SOPHOMORE THIS YEAR. NOW, I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE PART OF THE COMMUNITY– SORRY– I’M A LITTLE BIT NERVOUS. I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH ANXIETY DISORDER. I WANT YOU ALL TO PUT YOURSELF BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL. NOW, I HAVE A LOT OF GUY FRIENDS. I KNOW WHAT THEY TALK ABOUT. “OH, I JUST HEARD THIS FROM SO-AND-SO. OH, I HEAR SO AND SO HAS A MAGAZINE.” NOW, I’M NOT SAYING IT IS WRONG FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE TO WANT TO USE THE BATHROOM THEY IDENTIFY WITH, BUT HAVING A MALE MIND AT MAYBE AGE 13 TO 18– YOU ARE STILL DEVELOPING, AND YOU ARE STILL TRYING TO UNDERSTAND. BUT BOYS ARE CURIOUS, AND I WOULD BE SCARED TO USE THE BATHROOM WITH SOME OF THE GUYS IN MY SCHOOL. NOW, I KNOW FOR A FACT THEY ARE STRAIGHT. I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT THEY WOULD USE THIS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE TO SEE GIRLS. SEEING THAT IS– THAT IS SCARY FOR ME. I’D BE THE ONE HOLDING IT UNTIL I GOT HOME OR ASKING MY MOTHER TO LET ME GO HOME SO I COULD USE THE BATHROOM. IT’S– I CAN’T THINK OF THE RIGHT WORD. IT’S JUST– I DON’T WANT TO SAY IT’S NOT RIGHT, BUT THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT IT THAT– YES, IT IS THREATENING. I COULD HAVE A MALE TEACHER WALK IN. MAYBE THAT MALE TEACHER ISN’T ALWAYS PROFESSIONAL. I COULD HAVE IN A PUBLIC RESTROOM, AN OLDER MAN COME IN AND TRY TO SEE ME. I DON’T WANT THAT. MY MOTHER, WHO WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY APPALLED AT IT, SHE WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY LIVID. BUT– I AM DEFINITELY OPPOSED TO THIS. MAYBE WE SHOULD FIND ANOTHER WAY, HAVE A SINGLE-STALL, UNISEX BATHROOM OR SOMETHING THAT THEY FEEL SAFE IN AND WE FEEL SAFE IN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>TIM LARRABEE, FOLLOWED BY DARLENE PETTY.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS TIM LARRABEE. I’M AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY. I’M IN THE DEPARTMENT OF TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATIONAL STUDIES, AND MY JOB IS TO TRAIN FOLKS WHO ARE WORKING ON THEIR ELEMENTARY TEACHING CERTIFICATE. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I KNOW IS THAT MY STUDENTS ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT CREATING A SAFE SPACE FOR ALL OF THEIR FUTURE STUDENTS. THEY– THEY KNOW LGBT FOLKS ARE GOING TO BE IN THEIR SCHOOLS. THEY KNOW THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE KIDS FROM LGBT-IDENTIFIED PARENTS, AND THEY KNOW THESE ARE PEOPLE THEY HAVE TO WORK WITH IN THEIR FUTURE CAREERS AND CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT WHERE THOSE STUDENTS CAN LEARN, WHERE THEIR PARENTS ARE RESPECTED, AND WHERE THEY FEEL WELCOMED, SO THAT THE COMMUNITY ALL WORKS TOGETHER– THE SCHOOL, THE KIDS, AND THE PARENTS ALL WORK IN UNISON. SO WHAT DOESN’T HAPPEN IS MY STUDENTS DON’T LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT THE LGBT COMMUNITY IN THEIR TEACHING CERTIFICATION PROGRAM. AT OAKLAND UNIVERSITY, THEY HAVE ONE CLASS ON– ON DIVERSITY AND CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT, AND WE KNOW THAT CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT IS THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE THAT NEW TEACHERS DROP OUT OF SCHOOL. AND SO THEY GET HALF A CLASS ON THAT AND HALF A CLASS ON WORKING WITH THE DIVERSE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE GOING TO BE IN THEIR CLASSROOMS. SO THEY– SO WHILE THEY ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT PROVIDING SAFE PLACES FOR ALL OF THEIR STUDENTS TO LEARN, THEY HAVE YET TO– THEY DON’T HAVE AN DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES IN THE WAY THAT THEY NEED TO WORK INTELLIGENTLY, COOPERATIVELY, COMPASSIONATELY, WITH THE GREAT VARIETY OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS THAT ARE GOING TO BE PART OF THEIR WORK. IF WE– IF THE– WHAT THESE GUIDELINES BEGIN TO DO IS PROVIDE THESE FUTURE TEACHERS WITH IDEAS ABOUT HOW THEY CAN SHOW RESPECT FOR ALL OF THEIR STUDENTS, NOT TO– AND THIS SEEMS TO BE CENTERING ON TRANSGENDER STUDENTS, BUT GAY, LESBIAN, AND BISEXUAL AND INTERSEX STUDENTS AS WELL ALL NEED TO BE RESPECTED AND ACKNOWLEDGED. SO– SO– AND THE IDEA ABOUT ADOPTING THESE GUIDELINES– CLEARLY THERE ARE NO GUIDELINES THAT WE COULD DRAW UP THAT WOULD MAKE EVERYBODY HAPPY. WE HAVE CONFLICTING VIEWS. WE HAVE CONFLICTING WORLDVIEWS. AND SO THERE IS– SO THE EMPHASIS NEEDS NOT TO BE ON THE ADULTS, BUT ON THE STUDENTS AND ON THE KIDS. SO HOW DO WE CREATE SAFE PLACES FOR THEM? ONE OF THE THINGS WE KNOW IS THERE IS ALSO A GENERATIONAL ISSUE. THOSE FOLKS THAT ARE OLDER, THE ADULTS THAT ARE MAKING ALL THESE DECISIONS STRUGGLE MUCH MORE WITH LGBT ISSUES THAN THE NEXT GENERATION OF FOLKS, AND SO THE STUDENTS COMING UP– THAT WAS A QUICK THREE MINUTES.>>IT FLIES BY FAST.>>THE STUDENTS COMING UP WILL GROW UP KNOWING THAT LGBT FOLKS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THAT COMMUNITY THAT DESERVE RESPECT AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT, SO WE NEED TO BE MOVING THAT WAY. AND I’M OUT OF TIME– THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>DARLENE PETTY IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY ANITA CALCANO– SORRY– I KNOW I DID THAT WRONG.>>IF I COULD FOR ONE MINUTE, AS I WAS LEAVING THE ROOM, I WAS INFORMED THAT WHOEVER IS TAKING DOWN THE NOTES FOR THIS MEETING HAD PUT ME DOWN AS SOMEONE WHO SUPPORTS THIS LAW–>>NO, WE DON’T HAVE THAT.>>OKAY. WELL, THEY– SEVERAL PEOPLE CAME TO ME AS I LEFT OUTSIDE, AND WANTED TO MAKE SURE I WAS NOT DOWN ON THAT SIDE.>>NO– UNDERSTOOD.>>ALL RIGHT. THANK YOU.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. I’M DARLENE PETTY. AND I JUST WANT TO SPEAK FROM MY HEART. I’M A MOM OF 4, AND A GRANDMA OF 11, AND 6 OF THEM ARE MIDDLE SCHOOL AGES, AND YOU KNOW HOW– HOW HARD THAT IS, TO BE A MIDDLE SCHOOL AGED STUDENT. AND I ALSO WANT TO SAY I’M VERY GRATEFUL THAT WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE WE CAN SPEAK FREELY. THAT’S A BLESSING. SO I HAVE THREE POINTS. NUMBER ONE IS THE HEALTH CONCERN THAT I HAVE. I AM STRONGLY OPPOSED TO COMBINING GENDER BATHROOMS. THE HEALTH ISSUE I HAVE IS IN CONVERSATIONS WITH MY MIDDLE SCHOOL AGE GRANDCHILDREN, THEY ARE JUST PLAIN EMBARRASSED. THEY ARE LIKE, “GAMMY, WE WOULD JUST BE EMBARRASSED.” AND THEY ARE SINCERE IN THAT. AND SO IF SOMEONE WAS TO COME INTO THE BATHROOM AND EXPOSE THEIR– I WILL SAY PHYSICAL PLUMBING– OPPOSITE THEIR OWN, THESE KIDS WOULD BE JUST PLAIN EMBARRASSED. AND I’VE HEARD OTHERS SAY THE HEALTH ISSUE THAT WOULD BE INVOLVED WITH THAT WOULD BE THE KIDS WILL HOLD IT UNTIL THEY GET HOME. AND OF COURSE, THEY ARE GOING TO END UP WITH A UTI. THOSE THINGS ARE PAINFUL, AND THIS IS A REALITY. IT DOESN’T NEED TO BE. SO THAT’S MY NUMBER ONE ISSUE. NUMBER TWO IS THE SAFETY. MY CONCERN WOULD BE ALLOWING THE KIDS TO USE THE BATHROOM OF THEIR CHOICE. LET’S FACE IT: WE’RE ALL HUMAN, KIDS ARE GOING TO TALK, ADULTS TALK, BUT KIDS ARE GOING TO PICK ON EACH OTHER. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF WE’RE ALL STRAIGHT OR NOT. KIDS ARE GOING TO PICK. THERE WILL BE VERBAL ABUSE– I’M SURE THERE ALREADY IS VERBAL ABUSE, BUT IT WILL BE INCREASED, I’M AFRAID, TO ASSAULT AND BATTERY. WE DON’T NEED THAT. CLEAR UP TO CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT, WHERE WE CERTAINLY DON’T NEED TO BE ASKING FOR ANY MORE PROBLEMS THAN WE ALREADY HAVE. KIDS WILL BE KIDS, BUT REQUIRING BOYS TO STAY IN THE BOYS BATHROOM AND GIRLS TO STAY IN THE GIRLS BATHROOM WILL INCREASE THEIR SAFETY IMMENSELY. THAT’S MY FEELING. AND MY THIRD POINT IS AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY WILL MATTER IS IF GOD CAN BE PLEASED WITH OUR LIVES AND SMILE ON US. GOD WILL SMILE ON US IF WE PROVIDE SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF CLEAN, COMFORTABLE, UNISEX BATHROOMS, CONVENIENTLY LOCATED AROUND A SCHOOL– THEY DON’T NEED TO GO SEARCHING FOR THEM– THEY CAN BE OUT IN PUBLIC– I DIDN’T MEAN TO SAY OUT IN PUBLIC– OUT– EASILY ACCESSIBLE. SUFFICIENT, CLEAN, COMFORTABLE, UNISEX BATHROOMS, CONVENIENTLY LOCATED AROUND A SCHOOL SO WE CAN KEEP OUR KIDS HEALTHY, SAFE, AND CONFIDENT. AND FINALLY, I WANT TO ADD– I DON’T HATE ANYONE. I SIMPLY HATE THE FACT THAT COMMON SENSE WILL BE THROWN OUT, I FEEL, IF THIS POLICY WOULD BE PASSED.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>ANITA CALCONO, FOLLOWED BY KAREN WALKER.>>HELLO.>>HELLO.>>THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR GIVING US THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TODAY. I REPRESENT THE GREATER LANSING AREA PFLAG GROUP. WE FULLY SUPPORT THE BOARD’S GUIDELINES, BECAUSE WE SUPPORT THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY, AND THAT INCLUDES ALL OF OUR CHILDREN. WE APPLAUD YOUR ATTEMPT TO BRING OUR SCHOOLS INTO COMPLIANCE WITH TITLE IX BY PROVIDING A FAR-REACHING PLAN TO REDUCE RISK FACTORS BY REACHING OUT TO ALL THOSE WHO IMPACT OUR STUDENTS LIVES– NOT JUST THE TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS, BUT SCHOOL SUPPORT STAFF, STUDENTS, AND PARENTS AND FAMILIES. I COULD SEE FROM THE GUIDELINES THAT YOU CLEARLY ADDRESS THE PARENTAL ISSUE, WHICH EVERYONE SEEMS TO THINK YOU HAVEN’T. AT PFLAG, WE HAVE FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE OF THE VULNERABLE STUDENTS WHO SOMETIMES WAIT TO GO HOME RATHER THAN FACE THE BATHROOM ISSUE, THE STUDENTS WHOSE PARENTS HAVE TO RESORT TO HOME SCHOOLING TO PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN FROM CONSTANT BULLYING AND HARASSMENT, AND THE STUDENTS WHO CAN’T BE THEMSELVES EVEN AT HOME, AND WIND UP COUCH-SURFING AT THE HOMES OF FRIENDS. AND THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST TRAGIC CASES, WHEN YOU CAN’T EVEN BE OUT TO YOUR PARENTS. THE PHILOSOPHER ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER SAID THAT ALL TRUTH PASSES THROUGH THREE STAGES. FIRST IT IS RIDICULED. THEN, VIOLENTLY OPPOSED. THIRD, IT IS ACCEPTED AS BEING SELF-EVIDENT. WE HOPE THAT YOU, THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD WILL STAND UP AND DEFEND OUR CHILDREN– ALL OF OUR CHILDREN– FROM THE IGNORANT, THE MISGUIDED AND THE POLITICALLY OPPORTUNISTIC, WHO WOULD KEEP OUR CHILDREN FROM HAVING A SAFE SPACE IN WHICH TO LEARN. WE FIND THE BOARD’S GUIDELINES CONTAIN SELF-EVIDENT TRUTH. PLEASE HELP US ALL MOVE TO THE THIRD STAGE. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>KAREN WALKER IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY JENNIFER TATHAL.>>HI, MY NAME IS KAREN WALKER, AND I SUPPORT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION. I WANT ALL CHILDREN TO FEEL SAFE IN SCHOOL, AND I AM MARRIED TO A TRANSGENDER WOMAN, AND… THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>JENNIFER TATHAL IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY SHAMLAN WALKER.>>GOOD AFTERNOON.>>GOOD AFTERNOON.>>I SPEAK ON BEHALF OF MANY QUEER CHRISTIANS. I’M ALSO A MEMBER OF THE EAST LANSING CLERGY ASSOCIATION, BUT NOT AN OFFICIAL SPOKESPERSON. FOR TOO LONG, FAITH HAS BEEN USED AS A WEAPON, SPECIFICALLY THE CHRISTIAN AND PRIVILEGED TRADITION. IT HAS BEEN USED TO PROMOTE FEAR, BIGOTRY, POWER AND PERSONAL AGENDAS FOR CENTURIES. THE ISSUE AT HAND, PROVIDING A SAFE, SECURE, AND THRIVING EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT SPECIFICALLY FOR THE LGBTQ POPULATION, BUT ULTIMATELY FOR ALL STUDENTS, IS YET ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO MISUSE FAITH AS A WEAPON, AND IT’S TIME FOR THAT TO CHANGE. I READ THROUGH THE DOCUMENT THAT THE BOARD IS PROPOSING, AS WELL AS SOME OF THE COMMENTS ONLINE. WHAT BECAME CLEAR AFTER READING THROUGH THE COMMENTS WAS THAT FAITH WAS THE BASIS FOR SOME OF THE ANGER AND FEAR, UNFORTUNATELY. AS I PREPARED MY STATEMENT FOR TODAY, TWO PASSAGES FROM SCRIPTURE CAME TO MIND. FIRST, FROM GALATIANS, “THERE “IS NO LONGER JEW OR GREEK, “THERE IS NO LONGER SLAVE OR “FREE, THERE IS NO LONGER MALE “AND FEMALE, FOR ALL OF YOU ARE “ONE IN CHRIST JESUS.” THE SECOND COMES FROM THE 25th CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, WHEN THE RULER SAYS, “TRULY I TELL YOU, JUST AS YOU “DID TO ONE OF THE LEAST OF “THESE WHO ARE MEMBERS OF MY “FAMILY, YOU DID IT TO ME.” THE UNDERLYING MESSAGE IS ONE OF WHOLENESS AND TRUE COMMUNITY. MY HOPE IS THAT THESE GUIDELINES PASS. THEY ARE SOUND AND SOLID IDEAS AIMED AT PROVIDING SAFETY AND HOPE WHERE CURRENTLY THERE IS LITTLE. WHAT I GLEANED FROM THE COMMENTARY ONLINE SURROUNDING THIS IS ALSO THE NEED FOR EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT OF PARENTS, GUARDIANS AND EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS OF OUR STATE’S STUDENTS. I HOPE THAT WILL BE PART OF THE PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT PROGRAM LISTED IN THE DOCUMENT. IT’S CLEAR THAT HEARTS AND MINDS NEED TO CONTINUE TO OPEN. AS QUEER IDENTIFIED AND AFFIRMING MEMBER OF THE CLERGY, IT IS MY CALL TO REMIND US OF THE REDEMPTIVE AND INCLUSIVE POWER OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, WHICH HAS DONE SO MUCH HARM, AND TO BE A LIGHT WHERE THERE IS DARKNESS. MY WALK IN MINISTRY IS WITH THOSE WHO IDENTIFY AS QUEER AND CHRISTIAN, AND WHO MORE THAN ANYTHING ARE SEEKING WHOLENESS, SAFETY, AND A PLACE IN THE WORLD. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>SHAMLAN WALKER IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY GLENN M. RAY, JR.>HELLO, I’M SHARLENE WALKER FROM PORTLAND, MICHIGAN. A LITTLE BACKGROUND– I’M A VIETNAM ERA VETERAN. I WAS A FOSTER PARENT IN BARRY COUNTY FOR QUITE A FEW YEARS– I’M NOW RETIRED FROM THAT. AND I HAVE LIVED THROUGH THIS. I’M A TRANSGENDER WOMAN, AND I HAVE BEEN THIS WAY SINCE GRADE SCHOOL. AND IT’S HELL BEING ON THE BACKSIDE, NOT BEING ABLE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM, NOT BEING ABLE TO ACCEPT– JUST– I MEAN, IT’S JUST EXTREMELY DIFFICULT AS A CHILD TO GO THROUGH THIS. I MEAN, THEY NEED ALL OF THE SUPPORT THAT THEY CAN POSSIBLY GET FROM ANYONE THEY CAN GET IT FROM. AS FAR AS BEING A FOSTER PARENT, I HAVE SEEN PARENTS THAT I WOULD NOT ALLOW INTO A JAIL CELL, LET ALONE BE PARENTS. SO WE CANNOT ALWAYS RELY ON THE PARENTS TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT. I WISH THEY ALL WOULD. IT WOULD BE NICE IF THEY DID, BUT THEY DON’T. SO IN CLOSING, I SUPPORT THIS. I REALLY HOPE IT GOES THROUGH. AND THANK YOU MUCH.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>GLENN M. RAY, JR., AND TIM BARNES.>>GLENN, JR.?>>GLENN RAY, JR.? TIM BARNES? CHRISTINE BARNES? STEVE HOUSTON? BRIAN FLYNN? AARON BUZZBY? GLORIA HOUSTON? DAVID CALLMAN? DANIEL WALLACE? DANIELLE, NOT DANIEL. DANIELLE?>>YES.>>OKAY.>>HELLO. I AM DANIELLE WALLACE, AND I’M HERE TO REPRESENT MYSELF AND 13 OTHER PEDIATRICIANS AROUND THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. WE HAVE DEEP CONCERNS ABOUT ADVERSE EFFECTS OF THE WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN THAT WILL RESULT FROM THE POLICIES PROPOSED BY THE BOARD. WE ALSO RECOGNIZE THE GREAT IMPORTANCE THAT ALL STUDENTS BE TREATED EQUALLY, FAIRLY AND WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION. HOWEVER, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE PROPOSED POLICY CHANGES PROMOTE THESE GOALS FOR MICHIGAN STUDENTS, INCLUDING THOSE WHO ARE LGBTQ IDENTIFIED. TO ELIMINATE SEX SEGREGATED PRIVATE SPACES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS VIOLATES ALL STUDENTS’ FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS TO PRIVACY AND SAFETY. IN VIEW OF ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT, IT IS INEVITABLE THAT SOME MALE STUDENTS WILL FEIGN NON-CONGRUENCE WITH THEIR BIOLOGICAL SEX IN ORDER TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE OPPOSITE SEX BATHROOM OR LOCKER ROOM. CONSEQUENTLY, THE PROPOSED POLICY CHANGES WILL LIKELY INCREASE THE INCIDENTS OF DISTURBING OR HARASSING CONDUCT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO INDECENT EXPOSURE VOYEURISM, AND EVEN RAPE. WE ANTICIPATE THAT THESE PROPOSED POLICIES WILL CAUSE ANXIETY FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF FEMALE STUDENTS AND POTENTIALLY TRIGGER SYMPTOMS OF POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER FOR THOSE THAT ARE SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE OR SEXUAL ASSAULT. ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS WOULD BE AVOIDED IF SINGLE OCCUPANCY, UNISEX BATHROOMS WERE AVAILABLE FOR ALL STUDENTS TO USE SHOULD THEY BE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THE ARRANGEMENT OF THE MULTI-STALL, SEGREGATED BATHROOMS. ADDITIONALLY, REGARDING STUDENTS WHO DO NOT FEEL CONGRUENT WITH THEIR BIOLOGICAL SEX, SCIENCE SHOWS THAT IF THESE STUDENTS ARE NOT LABELED BY OTHERS AND ARE PERMITTED TO DEVELOP THEIR FEELINGS WITHOUT UNDUE INFLUENCE BY OTHERS, THE VAST MAJORITY SPONTANEOUSLY OUTGROW THESE FEELINGS. THE DSM-5 SHOWS THAT AS MANY AS 97.8 OF GENDER-CONFUSED BOYS AND 88% OF GENDER-CONFUSED GIRLS EVENTUALLY ACCEPT THEIR BIOLOGICAL SEX AFTER NATURALLY PASSING THROUGH PUBERTY. THEREFORE, WE DO NOT FEEL THAT SCHOOLS SHOULD PROMOTE OR LOCK A STUDENT INTO A LIFESTYLE OR IDENTITY THAT MAY PERHAPS JUST BE A PHASE THEY ARE PASSING THROUGH. WE WOULD ALSO LIKE YOU TO KEEP IN MIND THAT SAME-SEX ATTRACTION IS VERY FLUID DURING ADOLESCENCE, SO IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR PROFESSIONALS WORKING WITH STUDENTS TO PROMOTE LABELING AND PERMANENCE OF SEXUAL IDENTITY. APPROXIMATELY 1/4 OF YOUNG TEENS REPORT EXPERIENCING SAME-SEX ATTRACTION, BUT MOST DO NOT GO ON TO CLAIM HOMOSEXUAL IDENTITY, AS ONLY 2.7% OF AMERICAN ADULTS IDENTIFY AS GAY, LESBIAN, OR BISEXUAL, PER THE CDC. PROFESSIONALS WORKING IN SCHOOLS SHOULD BE EDUCATED REGARDING THIS EXTREME FLUIDITY, AND SHOULD NOT ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO MAKE POTENTIALLY LIFE-ALTERING DECISIONS AS THEY NAVIGATE THEIR FEELINGS ON SEXUAL ISSUES. WE SUPPORT THAT ALL STUDENTS IN MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE THE RIGHT TO FEEL SAFE AND TO HAVE THEIR RIGHT OF PRIVACY AND MODESTY PROTECTED. TITLE IX REQUIRES THAT THE SCHOOL PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS, NOT JUST FOR THOSE IDENTIFYING AS ANOTHER GENDER, CREATING ENVIRONMENTS THAT MAKE MOST STUDENTS FEEL UNSAFE, VIOLATED, OR EVEN TRAUMATIZED IN ORDER TO MAKE A FEW FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE SOLUTION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THIS LETTER WITH YOU ALL.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>ROGELIO LANDIN IS OUR NEXT SPEAKER, FOLLOWED BY KENNETH FRANK.>>GO AHEAD.>>PRESIDENT AUSTIN, BOARD MEMBERS, SUPERINTENDENT WHISTON, THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME BEFORE YOU. THE WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE FOR HISPANICS PRESIDENT’S ADVISORY COMMISSION INVITED COMMISSION STAFF FROM OTHER WHITE HOUSE ADVISORIES TO THEIR MEETING TWO WEEKS AGO TO JOINTLY DISCUSS EQUITY. ADVANCED ED RECENTLY RELEASED THEIR REPORT INCORPORATING PERVASIVE ACCOUNTABILITY. EVERY COMPONENT OF OUR SOLUTION INCLUDES ANALYTICS TO SUPPORT THE NEED FOR REAL TIME DATA FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS. LAST WEEK, THE CONSORTIUM ON SCHOOL NETWORKING RELEASED ITS DIGITAL EQUITY REPORT, WHICH NOW INCLUDES DIGITAL USE EQUITY, RECOMMENDING HOT SPOT TECHNOLOGY. THIS VALIDATES THE DIGITAL USE PORTION OF OUR SOLUTION, PRESENTED TO THIS BOARD 15 MONTHS AGO. SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS DO NOT HAVE A STRATEGY FOR OFF-CAMPUS CONNECTIVITY. EIGHTY-EIGHT PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS STATED AFFORDABILITY AS THE BIGGEST BARRIER FOR FAMILIES LACKING INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME. FIFTY-SIX PERCENT OF TEACHERS AGREED THAT THE LACK OF RESOURCES OR ACCESS TO DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AMONG STUDENTS IS A CHALLENGE IN THEIR CLASSROOMS. NINETY-SEVEN PERCENT OF TEACHERS AGREED THAT STUDENTS DON’T HAVE THE DIGITAL TOOLS THEY NEED TO EFFECTIVELY COMPLETE ASSIGNMENTS WHILE AT HOME. THE LEGISLATURE PASSED A $16 BILLION STATE ED BUDGET. BY LEVERAGING FEDERAL TITLE FUNDS, OUR SOLUTION IS CAPABLE OF CONTRIBUTING 3.4 BILLION, OR 21%, TO THE BUDGET. YESTERDAY, GRADNATION RELEASED THEIR REPORT REAFFIRMING THE CHALLENGES OF POVERTY, WITH 65% OF STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS WITH ADJUSTED COHORT GRADUATION RATES BELOW 67%. MICHIGAN IS ONE OF TEN STATES THAT GRADUATES LESS THAN 70% IN ALL FIVE SUBGROUPS: DISABLED, HISPANIC, AFRICAN AMERICAN, LOW INCOME, AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS. MICHIGAN’S 43% LOW INCOME STUDENTS ARE SUBJECT TO THE FOURTH HIGHEST GRADUATION RATE GAP OF NEARLY 23%. THOUGH ALTERNATIVE, CHARTER, AND VIRTUAL SCHOOLS COLLECTIVELY ACCOUNT FOR 14% OF HIGH SCHOOLS AND 8% OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, THEY MAKE UP 52% OF LOW GRADUATION RATE HIGH SCHOOLS NATIONWIDE AND PRODUCE 20% OF NON-GRADUATES. REGULAR HIGH SCHOOLS ACCOUNT FOR 41% OF LOW GRAD RATE HIGH SCHOOLS AND ARE WHERE THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS WHO DO NOT GRADUATE ON TIME CAN BE FOUND. WHAT THAT SAYS TO ME IS THAT THESE SCHOOLS ARE ALSO IN NEED OF MORE RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS. MY APPEAL TO THIS BOARD AND DEPARTMENT IS TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAD THE NATION ON THE ISSUE OF EQUITY BY PROVIDING A POLICY FRAMEWORK THAT ENCOURAGES AND PERMITS DISTRICTS TO INCORPORATE SOLUTIONS AS PART OF AN OVERALL COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE STUDENTS. IN CLOSING, I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DETROIT INTERNATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING SUMMIT JUNE 9th AT COBO CENTER. INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON LFNOW.ORG. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>KENNETH FRANK IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY FRANK RICE.>>HELLO. I’M A PROFESSOR AT MICHIGAN STATE AND THE FATHER OF REID ELLEFSON FRANK, WHO IS TRANSGENDER FEMALE TO MALE. I WANT TO GIVE YOU A LOOK OF WHAT REID’S LIFE HAS BEEN LIKE POST-TRANSITION, ALTHOUGH THAT’S ALWAYS A PROCESS. HE IS MORE ENGAGING. HE IS MORE SOCIAL. HE IS A BETTER PERSON IN TERMS OF THE WAY HE ENGAGES AS A FAMILY MEMBER, HIS SISTER AND OTHER PEOPLE AROUND HIM. A LOT OF THAT IS BECAUSE HE CAN INTERACT AS HE IS, AND NOT HAVE TO PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE HE IS NOT. HE IS DOING WELL AT AN EARLY COLLEGE PROGRAM, WHICH IS A PROGRAM THAT EMBRACES AND SUPPORTS DIVERSITY. THAT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH HOW REID IS CURRENTLY DOING. AND I NOTE THAT REID WENT TO PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN MICHIGAN, AND IT WAS A MORE DIFFICULT ATMOSPHERE. EVEN THOUGH THE FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATORS WERE SUPPORTIVE IN TRYING TO BE THOUGHTFUL, IT WAS A MORE CHALLENGING ATMOSPHERE, SO THESE ATTRIBUTES IN REID DID NOT PRESENT THEMSELVES IN THE WAY THEY DO NOW. WITH A MORE SUPPORTIVE AND EMBRACING ATMOSPHERE, I THINK HE COULD HAVE FLOURISHED EVEN EARLIER, AS MANY OF HIS FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES WILL DO. WHEN HE COMES HOME, WHICH WILL BE SOON– THEY LET OUT NEXT WEEK, WE HOPE HE WILL HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE STATE LED FIRST BY THE SCHOOLS. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT REID IS NOT A PERSON TO BE FEARED, RIDICULED OR PITIED. HE’S NOT A PIECE OF A SLIPPERY SLOPE. HE IS A YOUNG MAN, AND HE JUST WANTS TO ENGAGE IN THE COMMUNITY, CONTRIBUTE TO A COMMUNITY, AND HE WILL DO SO TO ANY COMMUNITY THAT OPENS TO AND EMBRACES HIM. THAT CONTRIBUTION WOULD BE LOST IF HE IS NOT EMBRACED AND ABLE TO ENGAGE. SO I RECOGNIZE YOU ALL HAVE A TOUGH JOB. I HOPE YOU CAN FIND SOME THOUGHTFUL MIDDLE GROUND, VALUABLE GROUND, AND I DO THINK IT’S VALUABLE FOR YOU ALL TO COME UP WITH GUIDELINES THAT SCHOOLS CAN– CAN THINK AND IMPLEMENT. PART OF WHAT I STUDY IS HOW TO MAKE SCHOOLS WORK WELL, AND IT’S HARD IF EVERY SCHOOL HAS TO COME UP WITH HIS OWN POLICY, DO ITS OWN RESEARCH WITH– AND LEARN FROM A RELATIVELY SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE AS THEY GO ALONG THE WAY. BETTER IF SOMEBODY STEPS BACK AND INTEGRATES ACROSS SCHOOLS AND THINKS ABOUT IT AND COMES UP WITH GUIDELINES AND POLICIES. SO I APPLAUD YOU FOR DOING SO, AND I SUPPORT THE GUIDELINES THAT YOU’VE RECOMMENDED. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>FRANK RICE, FOLLOWED BY BRIA BROWN. IS FRANK RICE HERE? IS BRIA BROWN HERE? ALLAN WACHENDORFER? NICOLE ELLEFSON? DID I JUST SAY YOUR NAME?>>ALLAN.>>ALLAN WACHENDORFER, YEP.>>THANK YOU. THANKS FOR HAVING ME. THANKS FOR TAKING ALL OF THE TIME TO HEAR FROM EVERYBODY. THAT IS GREAT. MY NAME IS ALLAN WACHENDORFER. I’M THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC POLICY FOR THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS IN MICHIGAN. WE REPRESENT OVER 6,000 SOCIAL WORKERS IN MICHIGAN, 150,000 NATIONWIDE. WE’RE THE VOICE OF THE PROFESSION AND THE CODE OF ETHICS– THE SOCIAL WORKER CODE OF ETHICS– EXCUSE ME. SELF DETERMINATION IS ONE OF OUR CORE VALUES, AND THAT’S REALLY KIND OF WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT HERE. I’M HERE TODAY TO EXPRESS THE SUPPORT OF THE EMPIRICALLY BASED BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES THAT THIS BOARD HAS CREATED, NOT MANDATES. I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT THAT THESE AREN’T MANDATES. NOT ONLY DID YOU DO THE JOB YOU WERE ASKED TO DO, BUT YOU DID IT WELL, WHICH SEEMS TO BE INCREASINGLY RARE THESE DAYS IN GOVERNMENT, UNFORTUNATELY. YOU DESERVE RECOGNITION FOR AT LEAST THAT. I ALSO WANTED TO SPEAK ON A PERSONAL LEVEL AS THE PARENT OF A SCHOOL-AGE CHILD. IT’S IMPORTANT TO ME THAT MY CHILD LEARN IN A SAFE, INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT FREE FROM BULLYING AND HARASSMENT, AND I BELIEVE THAT THESE GUIDELINES WILL PROVIDE SCHOOLS WHO ARE WILLING SOME OF THE TOOLS NECESSARY TO WORK TOWARDS CREATING SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT. BUT THIS ISN’T ABOUT RELIGION, IDEOLOGY, POLITICS, OR BATHROOMS. THIS ISN’T ABOUT ME OR YOUR UNCOMFORTABLENESS. THIS IS ABOUT PROTECTING OUR YOUTH BY PROTECTING SOME OF OUR MOST VULNERABLE YOUTH. THIS IS ABOUT PREVENTION– PREVENTION OF BULLYING, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, SUICIDE– THINGS THAT SOCIAL WORKERS AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS SEE CLIENTS DEAL WITH ON A DAILY BASIS. IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT TOLERANCE, EITHER, BECAUSE TOLERANCE ISN’T MERELY JUST PUTTING UP WITH SOMEONE. IT’S ABOUT AFFIRMATION, ACCEPTANCE, AND SUPPORT, AND EMPOWERMENT– THINGS LIKE THAT. SO IN THE WORDS OF ATTORNEY GENERAL LORETTA LYNCH, JUST SPOKEN YESTERDAY IN SUPPORT OF OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO ARE TRANSGENDER, “WE SEE YOU. “WE STAND WITH YOU. “AND WE WILL DO EVERYTHING WE “CAN TO PROTECT YOU GOING “FORWARD… “HISTORY IS ON YOUR SIDE.” AND I THINK THIS BOARD HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THAT HISTORY AS WELL. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>IS NICOLE ELLEFSON HERE? OKAY. SHE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY CHERI THOMAS.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. THANK YOU TO THE BOARD FOR MAKING THE TIME TO HEAR ALL OF US. MY NAME IS NICOLE ELLEFSON. I LIVE IN WILLIAMSTON, MICHIGAN. I’M THE PARENT OF A TRANSGENDER SON WHO’S 17. MY HUSBAND SPOKE A FEW MOMENTS AGO. I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY SON, PARTICULARLY. WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT TODAY IS THE TRULY IMPRESSIVE AMOUNT OF FEAR THAT I HAVE HEARD DISCUSSED BY PEOPLE, SAYING THAT THEY ARE AFRAID THAT IF THIS– WHICH WE HAVE TO SAY– VOLUNTARY GUIDANCE– I HAVE HEARD A LOT OF TALK IN THE HALLWAY ABOUT PEOPLE SAYING THIS HAS THE FORCE OF LAW. THIS IS A SUGGESTION– THE SUGGESTION THAT TRANSGENDER CHILDREN BE ALLOWED TO USE THE RESTROOM THAT CONFORMS WITH THEIR GENDER IDENTITY. SO MUCH FEAR, AS IF THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE END OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. I WANT TO ASK THOSE PEOPLE NOT TO COME AND SPEAK TO ME DIRECTLY– ALTHOUGH I WOULD WELCOME YOU TO DO SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE– BUT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO STOP A SECOND AND THINK ABOUT WHERE IS THAT FEAR COMING FROM? HAVE YOU EVER MET A TRANSGENDGER PERSON? HAVE YOU EVER TALKED WITH A TRANSGENDER PERSON? WHEN THEY WANT TO GO TO THE BATHROOM, GUESS WHAT THEY WANT TO DO? THEY JUST WANT TO USE THE TOILET. THAT’S ALL THEY WANT TO DO. THEY DON’T WANT TO GO IN THERE AND MOLEST OUR LITTLE GIRLS OR MOLEST OUR LITTLE BOYS. LIKE YOU AND ME, IT’S THE SAME BIOLOGICAL NEED. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO DO WANT TO MOLEST OUR LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS. THAT’S AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CONVERSATION THAN WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT HERE TODAY. WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IS HOW TO MAKE OUR LGBTQ YOUTH SAFE IN OUR SCHOOLS, AND IF YOU KEEP BRINGING UP THE BOOGEYMAN IN THE BATHROOM– THAT’S NOT WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. SO I APPLAUD THE BOARD FOR TAKING THIS UP, TO HELP THE DISTRICTS IN THE STATE WHO HAVE ASKED YOU FOR GUIDANCE THAT YOU RESPONDED TO, TO HELP THE DISTRICTS IN OUR STATE COMPLY WITH FEDERAL LAW, SO WE DON’T END UP BEING AN EMBARRASSMENT, FRANKLY, LIKE THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. I WANT TO THANK THE BOARD FOR HEARING EVERYBODY, BECAUSE EVERYBODY’S VOICE DESERVES TO BE HEARD. IF YOU AGREE WITH ME OR NOT, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD. HOWEVER, OUR DISAGREEMENTS ARE NOT ULTIMATELY GOING TO DECIDE THE MERIT OF WHAT HAPPENS WITH THIS POLICY. THAT HAS TO DO WITH LEGAL STANDING. THAT HAS TO DO WITH JUSTICE. AND IT DOES NOT HAVE TO DO WITH FEAR MONGERING. AND IT DOES NOT HAVE TO DO WITH THE PERSON’S RELIGION. WE DON’T LIVE IN AFGHANISTAN– WE LIVE IN AMERICA. WE HAVE THE RIGHT, EACH OF US– I’M A JEW. SOME OF YOU MAY BE CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, HINDUS, BUDDHISTS, OR ATHEISTS. WE ALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO OUR OWN BELIEFS, BUT NO ONE GROUP HAS THE RIGHT TO SAY BECAUSE THEIR GOD OR THEIR BIBLE OR THEIR PASTOR PUTS IT OUT, THAT MY CHILD SHOULD BE DENIED EQUAL ACCESS AT SCHOOL. SO I IMPLORE YOU TO BE FORWARD THINKING AND COMPASSIONATE IN YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE ISSUES. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>CHERI THOMAS IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY JIM SCUR.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS CHERI THOMAS, AND I WORK FOR THE MICHIGAN COALITION TO END DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE. THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE MY COMMENTS WITH YOU ON THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION STATEMENT AND GUIDANCE ON SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, AND QUESTION STUDENTS. MICHIGAN COALITION TO END DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE’S MISSION IS TO DEVELOP AND PROMOTE EFFORTS AIMED AT THE ELIMINATION OF ALL DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN MICHIGAN. OUR VISION INCLUDES A COMMITMENT TO BUILDING A LEGACY OF EQUALITY, PEACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE WHERE DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE NO LONGER EXISTS. INTER-PARTNER VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT ARE REALITIES IN OUR STATE OF MICHIGAN. FAR TOO MANY YOUTH ARE WITNESSING AND HAVING FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCES WITH VIOLENCE. THIS VIOLENCE INCLUDES BEHAVIORS SUCH AS BULLYING, TEASING, HARASSMENT, SEXUAL ASSAULT, PHYSICAL ASSAULT, AND SUICIDE RELATED BEHAVIORS. THIS EXPOSURE TO VIOLENCE CAN HAVE NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON THEIR EDUCATION. LGBTQ YOUTH ARE AT AN INCREASED RISK FOR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS, SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, AND SUICIDE. IN ORDER TO CREATE A SPACE THAT IS SAFE FOR ALL YOUTH WHO ATTEND MICHIGAN SCHOOLS, INCLUSIVE PRACTICES, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE NECESSARY. PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY ARE PARAMOUNT FOR LGBTQ YOUTH. IN HOMES WHERE DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE ARE PRESENT, THE ABILITY TO SHARE YOUR GENDER IDENTITY MAY NOT BE A VIABLE OPTION. STUDENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHEN, HOW, AND WITH WHOM THEY SHARE THEIR INFORMATION. ALLOWING A STUDENT TO USE THE RESTROOM THAT CORRESPONDS WITH THEIR GENDER IDENTITY IS AN IMPORTANT STEP IN CREATING A SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. GIVING STUDENTS OPTIONS THAT ARE NON-STIGMATIZING AND AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST SENDS A MESSAGE OF ACCEPTANCE. THERE IS AN UNFOUNDED FEAR THAT ALLOWING YOUTH TO USE A RESTROOM THAT CORRESPONDS TO THEIR GENDER IDENTITY WILL CREATE VULNERABILITY TO SEXUAL ASSAULT FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS. SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ASSAULTS AGAINST LGBTQ YOUTH ARE OCCURRING IN RESTROOMS DUE TO THE LACK OF ACCEPTANCE OF A PERSON’S RIGHT TO SELF IDENTITY. TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS ARE OFTEN SUBJECT TO VIOLENCE BECAUSE OF BEING TRANSGENDER BY STRANGERS AND INTIMATE PARTNERS. SEXUAL ASSAULT IS SOMETIMES USED AS A HATE CRIME AGAINST LGBTQ YOUTH. PERPETRATORS OF MOST SEXUAL ASSAULTS ARE MEN WHO IDENTIFY AS STRAIGHT. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT SCHOOLS CHOOSING TO ACCEPT OR USE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD INCREASE SEXUAL VIOLENCE RISK FOR NON-LGBTQ YOUTH. IN CLOSING, EQUALITY AND PEACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ARE OUR MISSION, AND THE WORK THAT WE ARE DOING HERE TODAY IS INSTRUMENTAL TO THAT. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>JIM SCUR FOLLOWED BY SCOTT MALLORY.>>THIS GROUP IS MADE UP OF A NUMBER OF MINORITIES, AND I’M GOING TO GUESS THE SMALLEST ONE IS THE ONE THAT’S MADE UP OF PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDECIDED. [ LAUGHTER ] ANY UNDECIDED PEOPLE HERE? TALK ABOUT A MEETING WHERE NOBODY’S GOING TO CHANGE THEIR MIND. BUT ANYWAYS, THAT’S NOT WHAT WE’RE HERE FOR. THAT’S NOT WHAT I CAME HERE FOR. THE ONE THING I FOUND IS I KEPT FINDING THE MOST PROFOUND THINGS BEING SAID BY PEOPLE THAT I DISAGREED WITH. HMM– THAT’S INTERESTING. I DO THAT A LOT, THOUGH. ANOTHER THING I HAVE LEARNED IN LIFE IS THE ISSUE IS USUALLY NOT THE ISSUE. THE ISSUE HERE IS NOT BATHROOMS. IT’S REALLY NOT. THAT’S WHAT YOU COULD MAYBE CALL A SYMPTOM OR A LITTLE TOPIC THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT, OR WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT. THE THINGS THAT I HEARD THAT WERE SAID BY PEOPLE I DISAGREED WITH, IS THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE LOOKING FOR LOVE. THEY ARE LOOKING FOR AFFIRMATION. AND I DISAGREED WITH THOSE PEOPLE ON WHAT THEY SEE WITH YOUR POLICY, BECAUSE I DISAGREE WITH YOUR POLICY, BUT I AGREE THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE LOOKING FOR LOVE, AFFIRMATION, ACCEPTANCE. SOMEBODY THAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO AGREE WITH BASICALLY SAID IF YOU HAVE A PENIS, YOU GET TO GO INTO THE MEN’S ROOM. I THINK HE LEFT, SO I THINK I CAN SAY THAT WAS REALLY STUPID. IF YOU ARE ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE DEFINED BY YOUR BODY PARTS, YOU ARE PRETTY SHALLOW. BUT I’D ALSO LIKE TO SAY, IF YOU ARE ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE DEFINED BY HOW YOU WEAR YOUR HAIR, IF YOU HAVE A PURSE OR NOT, HOW MANY PIERCINGS, A TATTOO YOU HAVE– ANY ONE OF THOSE IS SHALLOW. AND THAT’S WHY I DON’T LIKE THIS POLICY, BECAUSE IT’S PERPETUATING AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE’RE ALLOWING PEOPLE TO SAY, “THAT’S WHERE I’M GOING “TO FIND MYSELF.” AND IF YOU STAND AGAINST IT, AND SAY, “NO, THAT’S NOT WHERE “YOU GO TO FIND YOURSELF.” YOU DON’T GO TO THE BATHROOM TO FIND YOURSELF. YOU GO THERE TO TAKE A LEAK. THAT’S WHAT YOU GO THERE FOR. CERTAIN PEOPLE GO TO THIS ONE AND CERTAIN PEOPLE GO TO THAT ONE, AND IT’S ABOUT THAT SIMPLE. SO I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO NOT PASS THIS POLICY, STAND UP, AND BE LEADERS. ABRAHAM LINCOLN SAID, “MOST MEN CAN HANDLE ADVERSITY. “IF YOU WANT TO SEE THEIR “CHARACTER, SEE HOW THEY HANDLE “POWER.” YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN POWER. HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF SCHOOLS, TEACHERS, AND ADMINISTRATORS THAT ARE GOING TO FOLLOW YOUR LEAD. ARE YOU GOING TO BASE THAT ON SOMETHING VALUABLE AND IMPORTANT? OR ARE YOU BEING MANIPULATED, WHICH IS VERY UN POWERFUL, INTO DOING SOMETHING THAT REALLY JUST DOESN’T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE? I COULD SIT AND TALK ABOUT ALL OF MY AWARDS, AND ONE I WOULD TELL YOU ABOUT IS BEING FATHER OF THE YEAR. I HAVE BEEN FATHER OF THE YEAR A WHOLE BUNCH OF TIMES. [ LAUGHTER ] I CAN PULL OUT MY DRAWER AND SHOW YOU ALL OF MY KIDS NOTES. I’M A DAD OF FIVE DAUGHTERS, ONE SON. TWO OF THEM WE HAD AT HOME, TWO WE HAD IN THE HOSPITAL, TWO OF THEM WE DIDN’T HAVE– WE ADOPTED THEM. I HAVE BEEN A DAD TO SIX FOSTER KIDS, AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAS HAD AN IDENTITY ISSUE, TRYING TO FIND OUT WHO THEY ARE. I’M A CHILD OF A KING, AND THAT’S WHERE I PUT MY IDENTITY.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>SCOTT MALLORY IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY JANE LOCKE. SCOTT MALLORY HERE? HOW ABOUT JANE LOCKE? ROBERT WRIGHT– OH, JANE LOCKE. AND THEN ROBERT WRIGHT WILL BE NEXT IF HE’S HERE.>>I HAD TO RUN FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM.>>SORRY, I’M KIND OF TRYING– CLIPPING ALONG HERE.>>I’M JANE LOCKE FROM HOWELL, MICHIGAN. QUITE HONESTLY, I DIDN’T HAVE ANY CLUE HOW I WAS GOING TO ADDRESS THIS CROWD TODAY, OTHER THAN I MIGHT– ONE OF THE MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT TRANS PEOPLE IS THAT, “WELL, GE.. “TODAY I FEEL LIKE A GIRL. “I’LL GO IN THE GIRLS ROOM. “OH, TOMORROW FEEL LIKE A BOY.” IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT AT ALL. IT IS AS MUCH A PART OF YOUR BASIC IDENTITY AS YOUR BASIC IDENTITY IS. YOU KNEW THE MOMENT YOU COULD VERBALIZE IT WHAT YOUR GENDER WAS, AND IT’S NO DIFFERENT FOR ANY TRANS INDIVIDUAL. THEY DON’T TURN IT ON AND TURN IT OFF AT WILL. NOW, PERVERTED HETEROSEXUAL MALES MAY TRY TO PULL THOSE THINGS. IN FACT, A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE EVEN REMARKED SO MUCH. BUT THAT’S NOT WHY I’M HERE. I WANT TO TELL YOU, AS A PENTECOSTAL BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN, WHAT MY EXPERIENCE IS WHEN I CAME OUT AS TRANSSEXUAL. I WAS IN A NON-DENOMINATIONAL, PENTECOSTAL LEANING CHURCH IN WILFORD, MICHIGAN, AS PART OF THE PRAISE THE WORSHIP TEAM. AND THE VERY FIRST THING MY GOOD CHRISTIAN FRIENDS DID WAS TO KICK ME OFF OF THE PRAISE AND WORSHIP TEAM AND KICK ME OUT OF THE CHURCH. ALSO A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE LIVING WORD RIDERS, WHICH IS THE LOCAL HOWELL AREA CHAPTER OF THE CHRISTIAN MOTORCYCLE ASSOCIATION, AND THE MOMENT THAT IT WAS FOUND OUT I WAS TRANSSEXUAL, MY GOSH. THESE WONDERFUL CHRISTIANS KICKED ME OFF OF THE CHRISTIAN MOTORCYCLE ASSOCIATION– AS A FOUNDING MEMBER. WITHIN TWO WEEKS, MY NEW EMPLOYER AFTER A MERGER OF A VERY ACCEPTING COMPANY DECIDED, “GOSH. “THERE IS NO ROOM FOR TRANS “GIRLS LIKE YOU AROUND HERE.” “YOU ARE OUT.” THOSE ARE THE INDIGNITIES THAT WE ROUTINELY SUFFER, AND IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF FEAR AND IGNORANCE. I AM NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER INDIVIDUALS IN THIS ROOM, AND NEITHER ARE THESE OTHER GENDER NONCONFORMING PEOPLE. WE ARE JUST HUMAN BEINGS. NOW, ALL WE ARE LOOKING FOR IS TO HAVE A FAIR SHAKE, AND THERE IS NOT A SINGLE ONE OF US WHO IS GOING TO SNEAK INTO YOUR DAMN BATHROOM AND EXPOSE OURSELVES. HOW MANY OF YOU PEOPLE HAVE EVER SEEN ANY INDIVIDUAL EXPOSE THEMSELVES IN A BATHROOM? IT SIMPLY DOES NOT HAPPEN. IT’S A FIGMENT OF YOUR IMAGINATION. I WANT TO USE THE BATHROOM JUST AS MUCH AS YOU, YOU, YOU– ANY OF YOU OTHER PEOPLE WANT TO USE THE BATHROOM, AND THAT’S ALL WE DO. AND IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE, YOU ARE DELUDED. AND I’M RIGHTEOUSLY INDIGNANT BY THE WAY MY CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS USE THE BIBLE TO DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY FROM JESUS. SATAN HIMSELF CAN’T DO A BETTER JOB OF DRIVING PEOPLE AWAY FROM JESUS THAN THESE WELL-MEANING CHRISTIANS. I STRIDENTLY WORK IN MY LGBT COMMUNITY TO BRING PEOPLE IN TO KNOW JESUS, AT THE SAME TIME MY CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS DRIVE MORE PEOPLE AWAY FROM JESUS CHRIST, MY LORD AND SAVIOR, THAN SATAN HIMSELF COULD EVER DREAM OF DOING. AND IT ANGERS ME TO NO END. THANK YOU VERY MUCH>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>ROBERT WRIGHT, FOLLOWED BY NICOLETTE SNYDER. IS ROBERT WRIGHT HERE?>>YEP, MAKING HIS WAY.>>OH.>>YEAH, I’M HERE. ACTUALLY, THIS IS REALLY FUN FOR ME, THAT I FOLLOWED JANE, BECAUSE WE WERE IN LINE TOGETHER, AND EVEN THOUGH WE DISAGREE ON THE OUTCOME, WE SHARED A PIZZA TOGETHER. [ LAUGHTER ]>>AND TO ME, THAT’S WHERE WE WANT TO GET. WE WANT TO BE TOGETHER, AND WE WANT TO FIGURE OUT THIS PROBLEM, BECAUSE IT IS A PROBLEM. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, I– I DON’T LIKE THAT IT’S PERCEIVED FROM A PUBLIC PERSPECTIVE, OR EVEN A SERVICE PERSPECTIVE, THAT SOMEHOW WE ALL FIT INTO ONE CATEGORY OR ANOTHER CATEGORY. I DON’T LIKE THAT. IT– IT BOTHERS ME BECAUSE I DEAL WITH PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS ALL THE TIME. I’M A PSYCHOLOGIST. I HAVE CARD THAT SAYS I HAVE A MICHIGAN LICENSE TO PRACTICE PSYCHOLOGY, AND I HAVE DONE THAT FOR MANY YEARS. AND BEFORE THAT I WAS AN EDUCATOR. I’VE DONE THAT FOR MANY YEARS. I HAVE FIVE CHILDREN– ALL OF THEM ARE DOING WONDERFULLY. ONE IS SERVING MARGINALIZED WOMEN IN AFRICA. SHE IS MOVING TO KENYA NEXT MONTH TO WORK WITH MARGINALIZED WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN RAPED AND CAUGHT UP IN THE CIVIL WAR, AND SHE IS RETRAINING THEM AND HELPING THEM. MY OTHER DAUGHTER WORKS AS AN EDUCATOR, A SCIENCE EDUCATOR IN BANGLADESH. SHE IS TEACHING STREET KIDS WHO HAVE BEEN SEVERELY ABUSED, AND SHE IS TRAINING THEM TO MOVE UP IN LIFE. AND SO, I’M A BIG SUPPORTER OF THIS OUTCOME. WHAT I’M NOT A SUPPORTER OF IS THIS POLICY, BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT’S NOT GOING TO ACCOMPLISH THE DESIRED ENDS. TO ME THIS IS NOT ABOUT TRANSGENDERED– IT’S NOT ABOUT THAT. SHE EVEN SAID– JANE SAID THAT, YOU KNOW, IT’S NOT ABOUT GOING TO THE BATHROOM. IT’S ABOUT THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES– TO ME IT IS. A COUPLE THINGS THAT I JUST WANT TO SHARE. THIS IS INTERESTING TO ME. THE DEFINITION OF A MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY BATHROOM OR CHANGING FACILITY IS A FACILITY DESIGNED OR DESIGNATED TO BE USED BY MORE THAN ONE PERSON AT A TIME WHERE STUDENTS MAY BE IN VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS. THINK ABOUT THAT. STUDENTS ARE IN VARIOUS STAGES OF UNDRESS. AND– AND THIS POLICY, IF– IF TAKEN BY A LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, WILL ALLOW– AND I’M TALKING ABOUT TRANS– I DON’T EVEN THINK THERE WILL BE EVEN ONE PERSON WHO WILL BE ABUSED BY TRANSGENDER STUDENTS. I’M TALKING ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL USE THAT, NOT TO DRESS UP AS A TRANSGENDER PERSON, BUT JUST SO THEY CAN GO IN BECAUSE IT IS NOW ALLOWED. THERE IS NO OBJECTIVE STANDARD FOR THAT TO HAPPEN TO GO IN AND TO MAKE THAT– THAT HAPPEN. A POSER– SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO– NOT– TO TRY TO GET ACCESS WHO HASN’T UP TO THIS DATE. ANOTHER THING I SAW IN YOUR END NOTES OF THE POLICY– THERE’S A– THERE’S A EVIDENCE– NOT EVIDENCE, BUT A DATA FROM FERPA, WHICH IS THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION THAT YOU EXCHANGE. IT SAYS THE FERPA STATES THAT NO EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION SHALL BE GRANTED FUNDING IF IT DOES NOT PROVIDE PARENTS AND/OR STUDENTS A HEARING PROCESS THROUGH WHICH THEY CAN CHALLENGE THE CONTENT OF SCHOOL RECORDS, ENSURE THAT RECORDS ARE NOT INACCURATE, AND THEN IT SAYS IF YOU ARE UNDER 18, YOUR PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN MUST BE THE ONE TO MAKE THE REQUEST. FERPA SAYS THAT. FERPA SAYS THE PARENT HAS TO MAKE THE REQUEST TO CHANGE ANY INFORMATION. SO HOW IS IT THAT YOUR POLICY SAYS THAT PARENTS SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THAT PROCESS? YOU’RE– FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AT JUST A NORMAL READING, YOU ARE VIOLATING FERPA BY NOT ALLOWING THE PARENTS NOT TO BE INFORMED. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>NICOLETTE SNYDER. ALCO FULCO? ARE YOU NICOLETTE, OR ARE YOU–>>I AM NICOLETTE, YES.>>OKAY.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. MY NAME IS NICOLETTE SNYDER. I AM A WIFE AND MOTHER OF THREE. I AM A LABOR AND DELIVERY REGISTERED NURSE AND LACTATION CONSULTANT. I AM ALSO A PART-TIME FACULTY PROFESSOR IN NURSING. I’M HERE TODAY TO DISCUSS THIS PROPOSAL FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF HOW IT WILL UNINTENTIONALLY HARM OTHER MARGINALIZED STUDENTS. THE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED IS A VULNERABLE GROUP ALSO PROTECTED UNDER TITLE IX WITH A LITANY OF CASE LAW THAT ASSIGNS SCHOOLS ACROSS THE NATION THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PREVENT AND PROTECT THE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED. THIS VULNERABLE GROUP, LIKE THE TRANS COMMUNITY, INVARIABLY COPES WITH MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES LIKE PTSD, SUICIDE, AND OTHER CHRONIC MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESSES, WHICH MAKES THE DEFINITION OF SAFETY IN PLACES LIKE BATHROOMS AND LOCKER ROOMS IMPERATIVE TO THEM TOO. FIRST, A FEW FACTS. AND THESE FACTS ARE CONSERVATIVE– IT IS KNOWN THAT SEXUAL ASSAULT IS HIGHLY UNDER REPORTED, AS SURVIVORS DON’T TRUST THAT PEOPLE IN POWER WILL PROTECT THEM. FOR OUR POPULATION OF INTEREST HERE, ONE IN FIVE, AND SOME STATISTICS SHOW, ONE IN FOUR GIRLS ARE ASSAULTED BEFORE THE AGE OF 17 BY A DATING PARTNER. SEVEN PERCENT OF ALL SEXUAL ASSAULT IN CHILDREN HAPPENS IN SCHOOL. PROFESSIONALLY I AM FAMILIAR WITH HOW SURVIVORS NEED THE DEFINITION OF SAFETY CONSIDERED IN PRIVATE SPACES AND INTIMATE EXPERIENCES, FROM UNDRESS TO BIRTH, TO BREASTFEEDING, AND MORE. I HAVE ATTENDED MORE DELIVERIES THAN I CARE TO ADMIT WHERE WOMEN SUFFERED THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, AND ARE UNABLE TO OPEN THEIR LEGS TO DELIVER THEIR BABY UNTIL THE INEVITABLE MOMENT OCCURS, EVEN WITH THE APPROPRIATE PAIN MEDICATION ON BOARD. SURVIVORS HAVE A PHYSIOLOGICAL NEED TO PROTECT THEMSELVES THAT GREATLY IMPACTS THEIR SAFETY. THERE IS SAFETY PROTECTION AND COMFORT IN THE CURRENT DEFINITION OF BIOLOGICAL IDENTITY THAT OUR CULTURE HAS LONG HELD FOR THE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED WHEN IT COMES TO PRIVATE SPACES AND PLACES WHERE INTIMATE EXPERIENCES OCCUR. UNTIL YOU KNOW AND UNDERSTAND HOW THEY HAVE LEARNED TO COPE, YOU WILL NOT UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THEIR PROTECTION. TO FUNCTION INTIMATELY IN LOCKER ROOMS WITH THE OPPOSITE BIOLOGICAL SEX IS NOT A DEMAND THAT SOCIETY SHOULD PLACE ON THIS GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS. EVEN IF THIS ASSERTION IS MET WITH DISAGREEMENT, OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL STILL BE HELD TO THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PREVENT AND PROTECT SEXUAL ASSAULT– AGAIN, ALREADY A COURT PUBLISHED OPINION. THAT WILL BE DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE FOR SCHOOLS TO MEET WITHOUT SUFFERING CONSEQUENCES WHEN WE REMOVE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES THAT ALREADY EXIST AND SERVE AS CURRENT PROTECTION. I KNOW THAT ALL STAKEHOLDERS HAVE NOT BEEN BROUGHT TO THE TABLE IN DEFINING SAFETY IN THESE PRIVATE PLACES. THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF CONVERSATION AROUND THIS TOPIC, AND IF YOU ARE WONDERING ABOUT THE CONSENSUS, MY PERSONAL INSIGHT SAYS THAT IT DOES NOT AFFIRM THE APPROACH IN THIS PROPOSAL. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THOSE OF YOU SUPPORTING IT WILL NOT BE REMEMBERED AS FUTURE POLITICIANS WHO MADE DECISIONS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF ALL OF THEIR PEOPLE. I THINK YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR NOT HAVING A FULL CONVERSATION AND FOR NOT BRINGING ALL STAKEHOLDERS TO THE TABLE. I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF THE BOARD STOOD BACK AND LOOKED AT THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES AND FIND A BETTER WAY TO HONOR ALL STUDENTS IN DETERMINING AND DEFINING SAFETY. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>ALKO FULCO.>>CAN YOU SPELL THAT?>>YES, I’D BE HAPPY TO– A-L-K-O-F–>>YEAH, THAT’S ME.>>I’M SORRY.>>IT’S AIKO.>>OKAY.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU. SO I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU TODAY AS BOTH A TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUAL AND AS A SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVOR. I HAVE NEVER FELT TRAUMATIZED OR TRIGGERED BY SHARING A BATHROOM WITH A TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUAL. I HAVE FELT TRAUMATIZED AND TRIGGERED AND EMBARRASSED AND HUMILIATED HAVING TO USE RESTROOMS THAT I DON’T– AREN’T THE GENDER THAT I IDENTIFY WITH, AND I FELT THREATENED IN THOSE SITUATIONS. SO I THANK YOU FOR CREATING THESE GUIDELINES AND FOR SUPPORTING LGBTQ STUDENTS. IT IS REALLY HARD. I ALSO WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU AS A FORMER PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENT. I GRADUATED FROM COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL IN ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO. AND I DIDN’T KNOW THAT I WAS QUEER IN ANY SENSE ALL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL. SO I SPENT ALL OF HIGH SCHOOL AND ALL OF MIDDLE SCHOOL VERY ANXIOUS AND VERY DEPRESSED. I FELT REALLY ISOLATED, AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHY. I HAD A LOT OF SOCIAL ANXIETY, AND I DID VERY– NOT VERY, POORLY, BUT SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE IN SCHOOL THAN I WOULD HAVE BECAUSE OF ALL THESE ISSUES. AND I THINK THESE GUIDELINES REALLY DO INCREASE THE VISIBILITY OF LGBTQ STUDENTS. IF I HAD KNOWN THAT GENDER NONCONFORMITY AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE EXISTED IN HIGH SCHOOL, THEN I WOULD HAVE DONE SO MUCH BETTER AS A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT. SO THAT’S ALL I HAD TO SAY. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>DEVON BURT, FOLLOWED BY JAN STOWE.>>HI, HOW ARE YOU GUYS? I’M DEVON BURT. I LIVE IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN. I JUST WANT TO PRETTY MUCH REPRESENT MYSELF. I’M A BISEXUAL PERSON. I’M ALSO CLEARLY BLACK. [ LAUGHTER ] BUT I JUST THINK THESE GUIDELINES ARE VERY IMPORTANT, CONSIDERING, LIKE, HOW I THINK BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL, AND HOW I WISH THESE GUIDELINES WERE LIKE BACK THEN WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL LIKE IN 2009 TO 2011. IDENTIFYING AS A BISEXUAL, AND, YOU KNOW, HOW BISEXUALITY IS PRETTY MUCH A SEXUALITY THAT IS INVALID, AND IT IS ALWAYS ERASED. I SUFFERED FROM A LOT OF IDENTITY ISSUES AND TRYING TO FIGHT THE BINARY STANDARD OF BEING GAY OR STRAIGHT. BEING BULLIED FOR MULTIPLE THINGS– MY HAIR, MY LIPS, MY NOSE, ME BEING FAT, AND ALSO MY QUEER IDENTITY. I FEEL AS IF THESE GUIDELINES WERE HERE– WERE THERE BEFORE I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, I THINK I WOULD HAVE FLOURISHED SO MUCH BETTER JUST TO SEE THE REPRESENTATION, JUST TO SEE THAT MY IDENTITY MATTERS AS WELL, AND THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE LIKE ME, JUST LIKE AIKO WAS SAYING. I JUST THINK SOCIALLY, EMOTIONALLY, SPIRITUALLY, I WOULD HAVE FLOURISHED BETTER AS A HUMAN BEING, INSTEAD OF GOING THROUGH SO MUCH. BEING DIAGNOSED WITH DEPRESSION AT THE AGE OF 12, AND ANXIETY AT THE AGE OF 14, I JUST FEEL LIKE THAT THAT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. I JUST KNOW THAT IF THERE WAS A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR ME, IF THERE WAS A TEACHER OUT THERE I COULD REACH OUT TO, I JUST KNOW IT WOULD BE BETTER FOR ME. AND THAT’S WHY I’M HERE, JUST TO SPEAK ABOUT THIS, TO– TO MAKE SURE THAT OTHER STUDENTS WHO MAY IDENTIFY LIKE I AM TO HAVE A BETTER OPPORTUNITY IN LIFE, YOU KNOW, SO THEY CAN FLOURISH AS WELL, AND DO REALLY GREAT IN ACADEMICS AND EVERYTHING. IT’S REALLY ROUGH GROWING UP BEING QUEER. AND, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE MAY NOT UNDERSTAND, AND I KNOW IT’S DIFFERENT LIKE WORLD VIEWS, BUT I REALLY SUPPORT THIS, AND I THINK IT’S GREAT THAT WE ARE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION, BECAUSE IT IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE SAID, AND WE ARE HERE. WE MATTER, AND I WENT TO A DETROIT PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL, AND WE’RE HERE. QUEER PEOPLE ARE HERE, AND WE DESERVE TO HAVE A GOOD LIFE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IS. SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>JAN STOW, FOLLOWED BY NAN OMIRA. [ LAUGHTER ]>>MY NAME IS JAN STOW, I’M FROM KALAMAZOO, AND I WAS A KALAMAZOO PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER, AND MY HUSBAND WAS A PORTAGE PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER, AND MY SISTER AND BROTHER-IN-LAW WERE LANSING PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS, AND MY MOTHER WAS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER IN KALAMAZOO, AND MY MOTHER-IN-LAW WAS AS WELL. SO WE COME FROM A FAMILY OF PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS. AND I LOVED IT. I LOVED TEACHING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS. I LOVED ALL MY STUDENTS. AND I’M SO GRATEFUL I HAD THAT EXPERIENCE. AND I– I — THIS– THIS ISSUE WAS NOT– NOT THERE WHEN I TAUGHT BACK IN 1965 THROUGH 1971, THAT ERA. MY HUSBAND TAUGHT FOR 37 YEARS AFTER I DID. WE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THIS ISSUE IN THE KALAMAZOO AREA VERY MUCH. SO, MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU, AND I’M ANXIOUS TO HEAR EVERYTHING YOU ARE SAYING AND TRYING TO FIND OUT WHAT THE SITUATION REALLY IS. SO I’M VERY GRATEFUL FOR EVERYONE WHO HAS PARTICIPATED IN THIS. ANY WAY, REAL QUICKLY, I WAS AT THE LAST BOARD MEETING, AND DIDN’T GET THROUGH A WHOLE LOT OF MY SPEECH, BECAUSE WE ONLY HAD THREE MINUTES, BUT I WANT TO GO TO MY FOURTH POINT AND IF I HAVE TIME I’LL GO BACK TO ONE, TWO, AND THREE. SO I’LL MAKE SURE TO GET THROUGH THIS. I GET INFORMATION, MY HUSBAND AND I WORKED AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY IN THE KALAMAZOO AREA FOR YEARS. AND WENT TO WESTERN AND HANDED OUT MATERIAL TO STUDENTS AND ALL KINDS OF THINGS. ANY I GET INFORMATION FROM THE AMERICAN DECENCY ASSOCIATION, WHICH IS IN FREMONT, MICHIGAN. I GOT A LETTER FROM THEM JUST ABOUT A MONTH AGO, AND– ABOUT THE STATE BOARD POLICY. I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT BEFORE THEN. AND I GOT THE MAY ISSUE, AND FOUND THAT– THAT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PEDIATRICS WEIGHED IN ON THIS AND GAVE SOME VERY STRONG STATEMENTS, ACP.ORG– WELL THERE’S MORE TO THAT. WWW.ACPPEDS.ORG. AND I’LL QUICKLY READ THROUGH THE EIGHT STATEMENTS. HUMAN SEXUALITY IS AN OBJECTIVE, BIOLOGICAL BINARY TRAIT. XY AND XX ARE GENETIC MARKERS OF HEALTH, NOT GENETIC MARKERS OF A DISORDER. TWO, NO ONE IS BORN WITH A GENDER. EVERYONE IS BORN WITH A BIOLOGICAL SEX. GENDER IS JUST AN AWARENESS OF ONE’S SELF AS MALE OR FEMALE, IS A SOCIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPT, NOT AN OBJECTIVE BIOLOGICAL ONE. THREE, A PERSON’S BELIEF THAT HE OR SHE IS SOMETHING THEY ARE NOT IS AT BEST A SIGN OF CONFUSED THINKING. FOUR, PUBERTY IS NOT A DISEASE, AND PUBERTY BLOCKING HORMONES CAN BE DANGEROUS. MY DAUGHTER IS A DOCTOR IN KALAMAZOO. SHE SAID SHE WOULD NEVER GIVE THESE DRUGS TO CHILDREN. NUMBER 5, ACCORDING TO THE DSM, AS MANY AS 98% OF GENDER CONFUSED BOYS EVENTUALLY ACCEPT THEIR BIOLOGICAL SEX AFTER NATURALLY PASSING THROUGH PUBERTY. NUMBER 6, CHILDREN WHO USE PUBERTY BLOCKERS TO IMPERSONATE THE OPPOSITE SEX WILL REQUIRE CROSS-SEX HORMONES IN LATE ADOLESCENCE. CROSS-SEX HORMONES, TESTOSTERONE AND ESTROGEN, ARE ASSOCIATED WITH DANGEROUS HEALTH RISKS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, BLOOD CLOTS, STROKE AND CANCER. SEVEN–>>TIME IS UP.>>I’M ALL DONE?>>YEP, YOUR THREE MINUTES IS UP. SORRY ABOUT THAT.>>ANYWAY, I’M GIVING THIS INFORMATION TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION. AND THE WEBSITE IS WWW.ACPEDS.ORG. SO ANYWAY. I AM LOOKING TO FIND OUT ALL I CAN ABOUT ALL OF THESE THINGS FOR THE SAKE OF THE STUDENTS THAT I LOVE. AND I LOVE THEM ALL AND THEY ALL LOVE ME.>>NAN O’MIRA IS OUR NEXT SPEAKER FOLLOWED BY RILEY O’BRIEN.>>I’M GOING TO PASS THIS DOWN– THESE ARE FOR THE BOARD MEMBERS.>>YES, THAT’S FINE.>>THIS IS MY PRINCESS.>>THANK YOU.>>YOU ARE WELCOME.>>I AM CARRYING A BIBLE, SO I HOPE I’M NOT JUDGED FOR THAT, BUT ANYWAY– WHAT I WANT TO SAY IS THIS SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN GOING AROUND IN MY MIND, AND I WANT TO SAY IT FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE CHRISTIANS, BECAUSE THIS REFERS TO CHRISTIANS, AND IT IS CHRONICLE 7:14, TALKING ABOUT OUR NATION– LET’S 7:14, IF MY PEOPLE, THAT’S CHRISTIANS, WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY AND SEEK MY FAITH, AND TURN FROM THEIR OWN WICKED WAYS, THEN I WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN AND FORGIVE THEIR SIN AND HEAL THEIR LAND. OUR COUNTRY NEEDS A HEALING. THAT’S FOR SURE. OKAY? AND MY HUSBAND WROTE ME A BEAUTIFUL NOTE, AND HE SAID, HAVE A GOOD DAY. BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS AND RECONCILERS. BLESSED ARE THE FORGIVING AND MERCIFUL. OKAY, I’LL JUST READ THIS QUICKLY. FIRST I THINK WE’RE IN THE BUSINESS OF HELPING KIDS GET A GOOD EDUCATION IN A PEACEFUL, SAFE ENVIRONMENT. I’VE BEEN A TEACHER/GRANDMA, SO ON AND SO FORTH, THEY NEED TO ACCEPTED AND TREATED WITH RESPECT AS PERSONS, YOU KNOW, NOT ACCORDING TO ANY SPECIFIC THING– EVERYONE. THEY NEED A CLEAN, SAFE ENVIRONMENT TO USE THE BATHROOM. SO THOSE ARE JUST SIMPLE PRINCIPLES THAT YOU NEED. I THINK WE DON’T WANT TO CREATE PROBLEMS IN TRYING TO SOLVE OTHER PROBLEMS, SO I JUST KIND OF– WE DON’T WANT TO INTERFERE WITH PERSONAL PRIVACY OF SOME TO ACCOMMODATE OTHERS. THOSE CHOOSING DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES SHOULD I THINK– WE NEED TO TEACH THOSE WHO ARE IN THE TRANSGENDER, GAY, LESBIAN, SO ON, JUST LIKE WE NEED TO TEACH THOSE WHO AREN’T THAT THEY SOMETIMES NEED TO GIVE. THEY– THOSE CHOOSING A DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE SHOULD LEARN JUST LIKE THE OTHERS TO ACCEPT OTHERS AS PERSONS WHO DON’T SHARE THEIR VIEWS, AND WORK ON WHAT IS BEST FOR EVERYONE. THAT’S THE WAY IT HAS TO BE IN A SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT. WE’RE ALL IN IT TOGETHER. YOU KNOW? THE THING I’M CONCERNED ABOUT THIS POLICY IS DECEPTION. IT IS NEVER RIGHT TO PROMOTE DECEPTION, ESPECIALLY BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN AND BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND PARENTS. FOR EXAMPLE– THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE– IS IT OKAY TO TEACH CHILDREN IT’S WRONG TO CHEAT ON A TEST, BUT ALL RIGHT TO DECEIVE YOUR PARENTS? THAT WILL COME ACROSS TO CHILDREN, YOU KNOW? WE WANT TO WORK ALONG WITH PARENTS IN RAISING THEIR CHILDREN WITH GOOD VALUES AND GOOD PREPARATION FOR LIFE. I’LL JUST HAVE TO SAY– OH, I HAVE IT RIGHT HERE. WE WANT TO– SO THESE I THINK ARE SOME SOLUTIONS AND– OKAY, BUILD TRUST WITH FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS BY TRUSTWORTHY BEHAVIOR. ESTABLISH A CLIMATE OF LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE OF OTHERS AS PERSONS. THE ADMINISTRATORS CAN DO THAT IN THEIR BUILDING. BY PROMOTING AMONG THEIR STUDENTS– OH, SHOOT. THEY PROVIDE SAFE TIMES FOR– SAFE ATMOSPHERE FOR ALL, AND ZERO TOLERANCE OF BULLYING. I WAS THINKING ABOUT THIS, FOR– HELP FOR BULLYING– THE PERSON WHO IS BULLYING NEEDS HELP, AND THEY NEED THE COUNSELING SESSION IF NOT SESSIONS. SO YOU COULD KEEP THEM OUT– TELL THEM FOR A MONTH THEY ARE OUT AND THEY GET THEIR SCHOOLING AT HOME AND SO ON– I DON’T KNOW IF THIS WOULD WORK– AND THEN TRY IT AGAIN– MEANWHILE GIVE THEM COUNSELING, REGARDING THE BULLYING, OKAY? AND THEN– ANYWAY. OKAY. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>SORRY ABOUT THAT, BUT THANK YOU.>>RILEY O’BRIEN IS NEXT. FOLLOWED BY FINLEY BEAVER.>>HELLO AND THANK YOU KINDLY FOR ALLOWING ME THE TIME TO SPEAK TODAY. MY NAME IS RILEY O’BRIEN. I’M AN 11TH GRADE STUDENT WITH A NEUTRAL ZONE IN ANN ARBOR, AND I’M A GENDER NON-CONFORMING INDIVIDUAL. BEING A GENDER NON-CONFORMING HIGH SCHOOLER COMES WITH A GOOD DEAL OF CONFUSION, MISUNDERSTANDING AND FEAR, ACCENTUATING WHAT IS ALREADY A TUMULTUOUS TIME. FOR TRANSGENDER STUDENTS THE NOTION OF HIGH SCHOOL BEING ABOVE ALL A SAFE PLACE IS A FOREIGN ONE. IN A RARE MINORITY WITHIN A MINORITY THERE IS COMFORT IN GOING TO SCHOOL, FOR THE MANY THAT EXPERIENCE OTHERWISE, THE DAILY MEETING WITH HUNDREDS OF PEERS IS WROUGHT WITH HAZARD. EVERY PERSON I MEET BRINGS MY GENDER INTO QUESTION. IN THE COURSE OF A DAY FILLED WITH SUNSHINE WITH TEMPERATE GUSTS, SOOTHING COLORS AND NO HARDSHIPS IN THE PERIPHERY OF MY MIND, THERE WILL BE A DOZEN MEETINGS. EACH ONE IS A NEW QUESTION STABBING AT ME, PIERCING AND PRODDING WITH ASSUMPTIONS OF WHERE MY GENDER LIES. THIS PART OF MYSELF IS SUBJECT TO HARSHNESS ABOVE ALL ELSE. IT IS VULNERABLE WHERE I LEAST HOPE. IT IS A RACE WHICH I WISH ONLY TO REMAIN. THIS IS MY DAILY TURMOIL, MY THREAT AND CHALLENGE. IT IS SOMETHING I CANNOT IGNORE, FOR IT PAINS ME IN EVERY PLACE I GO. HIGH SCHOOL IS WHERE THIS INJECTION OF SOCIETY BECOMES NUMB, NOT BECAUSE IT ISN’T NOTICED, BUT IT IS SO FREQUENT IT MIMICS CONSTANCY. WHILE THIS IS IN PART DUE TO THE PEOPLE, WHAT BURNS HARDER ARE THE NEVER FALTERING LISTS, ATTENDANCE SHEETS, RECORDS, GRADE BOOKS, SCHOOL-ISSUED EMAILS, ATTENDANCE, GRADE BOOKS. SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, ATTENDANCE, EACH ONE CARRIES WITH IT THE WRONG NAME. AND A PUSH THAT MUCH FURTHER FROM SAFETY, SERENITY, A SOCIAL NORMAL WHICH IS WRENCHED FROM ME IN EVERY PLACE BUT MY OWN. THIS GUIDANCE REGARDING TRANSGENDER AND GENDER NON-CONFORMING STUDENTS IS A RESCUE. REGARDING THE FIRST AND SECOND TRANSGENDER GUIDELINES, THIS IS A GIFT OF THAT NORMALCY THAT THE WORLD HAS IN BOUNTY AND I HAVE IN SLIVERS. THIS GUIDANCE, WHICH I MIGHT ADD MAKES ME FEEL COMFORT AND JOY ONLY KNOWN FROM NOSTALGIA. ITS DICTION AND CONSIDERATION IS AN UNFAMILIAR LOVE. THIS GUIDANCE SEEMS TO TAKE ME BY THE HAND AND SHOW ME WITH EVERY GLIDING STEP A PATH TO A SAFER WORLD, A SPRAWLING REALM WITH THE SECURITY AND HAPPINESS I ONLY SEE IN THOUGHTS. I SEE SPACE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE I KNOW AND LOVE AND EVER WILL, BOTH PRESENT AND FUTURE MADE BEAUTIFUL BY GIVING ME ONLY THAT COMMON SAFETY. I IMPLORE YOU TO TAKE THESE STEPS. THE POWER OF A NAME AND PRONOUN, AND THE SAFETY THEY PROVIDE ARE IN YOUR DECISION. I WANT TO FEEL SAFE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND THOUGHTS.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>FINLEY BEAVER IS NEXT. FOLLOWED BY MACKENZIE RASMUSSEN.>>HI.>>HI.>>I AM FINLEY BEAVER. I’M A GENDER DIVERGENT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT AND FACILITATOR FOR YOUTH IN ANN ARBOR, WHICH IS AN LGBT ACTIVIST GROUP WITH A NEUTRAL ZONE. I DON’T SPEAK FOR IT. AS A FACILITATOR AND EXTREMELY VOCAL SUPPORTER OF THE COMMUNITY, I HEAR LOTS OF STORIES ABOUT HOW THE PEOPLE I CARE ABOUT AND IDENTIFY WITH MOST ARE STRIPPED OF THEIR IDENTITY AND HARASSED FOR SHINING. I HAVE STORIES OF MY OWN. FOR EXAMPLE, BEING TOLD I WAS– I WASN’T REAL BECAUSE OF MY GENDER IDENTITY. I EVEN– I CAN’T EVEN FEEL SAFE IN THE STAIRWELL, BECAUSE I’M AFRAID SOMEONE WILL PUSH ME DOWN THE STAIRS. I HAVE BEEN CALLED HARMFUL NAMES LIKE HE-SHE WHICH IS VERY RUDE, HARMFUL AND HATEFUL. I HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED TO BY TEACHERS THAT THEY WEREN’T TRANS- OR HOMOPHOBIC, BUT THEY WEREN’T GOING TO USE MY NAME OR PRONOUNS, WHICH DEEPLY AFFECTS HOW I LEARN. I VERY OFTEN DO DON’T WELL IN THOSE KINDS OF CLASSES. GLSEN REPORTS THAT THREE OUT OF FOUR STUDENTS ARE VERBALLY HARASSED FOR THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION. ONE IN FIVE REPORT PHYSICAL ABUSE. IN TERMS OF GENDER EXPRESSION, 55% OF STUDENTS ARE VERBALLY HARASSED AND ONE IN EIGHT ARE PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED FOR IT. NCAVP REPORTED THAT LGBT IDENTIFYING PEOPLE ARE THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO REPORT RAPE. THESE NUMBERS WOULD BE SO MUCH LOWER WITH THIS GUIDANCE IN PLACE, AS IT WOULD SPREAD AWARENESS AND PROVIDE RESOURCES TO THESE THREATENED YOUTH. I COULD FINALLY FEEL COMFORTABLE IN MY SCHOOL, AND BE ABLE TO LEARN WITHOUT FEARING MY PEERS AND TEACHERS. THE ADMINISTRATION EVEN MAKES ME FEEL– YOU KNOW, PRETTY AGITATED, A LITTLE SCARED. MOSTLY SCARED. IN RESPONSE TO THE CONCERNS OF PARENTAL RIGHTS BEING TAKEN AWAY, I HAVE TWO POINTS FOR YOU. A, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE ACCEPTING OF YOUR CHILD IF THEY WERE LGBT, AND EVEN IF THEY ARE, BUT REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE SOME PARENTS OUT THERE THAT AREN’T. HRC REPORTS THAT UP TO 40% OF HOMELESS YOUTH IDENTIFY AS LGBT. THOSE PARENTS DO NOT GET TO CONTROL HOW THEIR CHILD FEELS IN SCHOOL AND WHAT THEY ARE CALLED IN THE CLASSROOM. B, THIS IS A GUIDANCE. IT’S OPTIONAL. IT’S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT BECAUSE A LOT OF SCHOOLS WHO DO WANT TO HELP, DON’T KNOW HOW THEY CAN, AND WITH THIS GUIDANCE IN PLACE, IF THEY HAD ACCESS TO THIS, PEOPLE LIKE ME COULD FINALLY FEEL SAFE. IT’S COMPLETELY NECESSARY, AND MAKES ME FEEL A LOT OF HAPPINESS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION.>>THANK YOU.>>MACKENZIE RASMUSSEN. FOLLOWED BY EMMA HEATH.>>FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME SPEAK TODAY, AND I’M MAC RASMUSSEN AND I USE PRONOUNS TO IDENTIFY AS A GENDERFLUID PERSON. I’M HERE WITH AN ANN ARBOR GROUP CALLED RIOT YOUTH, WHICH OFFERS A SAFE SPACE FOR LGBTQ YOUTH. I DO NOT REPRESENT THEM, BUT I AM PART OF THEIR GROUP. I MYSELF HAVE BEEN OUT TO MY FAMILY, FRIENDS AND MAJORITY OF MY COMMUNITY SINCE SEVENTH GRADE. I’M NOT CONFUSED ABOUT HOW I IDENTIFY. THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN BACKLASH FOR STUDENTS WHO COME OUT, AND WHO ARE TRANS AND LGBTQ. IN FACT IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH ON THE SECOND PAGE, SPECIFICALLY IT LISTS STATISTICS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO LGBTQ STUDENTS. IT SAYS THAT STUDENTS WHO IDENTIFY AS LESBIAN, GAY, OR BISEXUAL ARE 2.3 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE THREATENED OR INJURED WITH A WEAPON ON SCHOOL PROPERTY. AND ARE 2.3 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO SKIP SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY FEEL UNSAFE. WHEN STUDENTS FEEL UNSAFE, NOT ONLY DOES IT TAKE A TOLL ON THEIR SCHOOL WORK AND GRADES, IT ALSO TAKES A TOLL ON THEIR MENTAL HEALTH. BASED ON THE FACTS IN THIS ARTICLE, THEY ARE 4.5 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO ATTEMPT SUICIDE. THESE NUMBERS ARE ALREADY TOO HIGH. IF STUDENTS ARE FEELING UNSAFE AND THREATENED, THEN SCHOOL ISN’T EXACTY A GOOD LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. I BELIEVE PUTTING THESE GUIDELINES IN PLACE WILL HELP REDUCE THESE HORRIBLE STATISTICS. RIGHT AWAY IN THIS DOCUMENT, IT TALKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE IN LGBTQ AND TRANS TERMINOLOGY. I HAVE TRIED TO EXPLAIN MY PRONOUNS TO MY TEACHERS AND MOST OF THEM DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT, OR WHAT IT MEANS TO USE THE PRONOUNS. THIS ISN’T THEIR FAULT BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE KNOWS THE INFORMATION ON THIS TOPIC. AND THAT’S FINE. BUT WE NEED TO WORK ON EDUCATING TEACHERS AND STAFF ON THESE ISSUES. BECAUSE THE MORE THEY KNOW, THE BETTER THEY CAN NAVIGATE THESE SITUATIONS. ANOTHER POINT MADE ON PAGE 5, ITEM 1, WHERE IT SAYS STAFF SHOULD ADDRESS STUDENTS BY THEIR CHOSEN NAME AND PRONOUNS REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT IT HAS BEEN CHANGED LEGALLY. THIS GUIDANCE IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE I KNOW FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE HOW IT FEELS TO BE IN A NEW CLASSROOM OR HAVE A SUB THAT DAY AND BE CALLED BY THE WRONG NAME OR PRONOUN. YOU CAN FEEL A PANIC ATTACK, OR ANXIETY ATTACK. YOUR HANDS START SHAKING, YOU BECOME SWEATY, YOUR CHEST TIGHTENS UP, IT MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT TO BREATHE. YOU FEEL VULNERABLE. WHEN YOU HEAR A NAME THAT DISREGARDS ALL OF THE PROGRESS THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU MADE. EVERY WORD IS A GASH, EVERY LETTER IS SALT IN THE WOUND. AS YOU CAN SEE, THESE REPERCUSSIONS CAN’T BE POSITIVE FOR STUDENTS. SO I URGE YOU TO LISTEN AND THINK OVER THESE GUIDELINES I FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THEM. THEY ARE IMPORTANT TO ME, MY FRIENDS, PEOPLE I LOVE. AND I HOPE YOU CONSIDER ALL OF US WHEN MAKING THIS DECISION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>EMMA HEATH IS NEXT. FOLLOWED BY EMILY HUBBLE.>>HI. MY NAME IS HELEN HEATH. I HAVEN’T CHANGED IT LEGALLY YET. I IDENTIFY AS MOSTLY AND GO BY [ INAUDIBLE ] PRONOUNS. I’M 17 AND HAVE BEEN HOME SCHOOLED SINCE 8TH GRADE. ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I LEFT PUBLIC SCHOOL IS I WAS MISERABLE. I DIDN’T KNOW ANY BETTER THAN TO PLAY THE ROLE OF A HETEROSEXUAL GIRL AND IT WAS EXHAUSTING. I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND UNTIL YEARS LATER THAT IT WASN’T NORMAL TO FEEL QUEASY WHEN I HEARD MY BIRTH NAME. IT TOOK EVEN LONGER TO UNDERSTAND THAT NOT BEING A MAN DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY MAKE ME A WOMAN. BECAUSE INFORMATION ABOUT DIVERSE GENDERS HAD NOT BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO ME. MAKING AVAILABLE DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE INFORMATION AND MEDIA, DESIGNATING A STAFF MEMBER WHO IS BOTH KNOWLEDGEABLE AND FRIENDLY ABOUT LGBTQ ISSUES, AND SUPPORTING THE FORMATION OF MIDDLE SCHOOL GSA ALL ARE DETAILED IN THIS POSITION PAPER WOULD NOT ONLY LIMIT OR ELIMINATE HARASSMENT BY STRAIGHT AND CISGENDER STUDENTS BUT WILL EMPOWER QUESTIONING STUDENTS AND HELP ANSWER SOME OF THEIR QUESTIONS. WE HAVE HEARD SEVERAL PARENTS– WE HAVE HEARD SEVERAL PARENTS SO FAR TODAY AND IN THE SESSION EARLIER, PROTESTING THE SECTION ABOUT NAMES AND PRONOUNS ON PAGE 5, ITEM 3. I BELIEVE THE CHOICE OF WHO IS TOLD WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD BE SOLELY IN THE TRANSGENDER STUDENTS’ HANDS. INFORMING THE SCHOOL IS ONE THING. TALKING TO YOUR PARENTS WHOLLY ANOTHER. AND A STUDENT MAY BE READY TO BE CALLED BY THEIR CHOSEN NAME AND PRONOUNS FAR EARLIER THAN THEY ARE READY TO MENTION IT TO THEIR PARENTS. A SMART AND LOVING PARENT IN THIS SITUATION WOULD SAY I’M GLAD TO SEE THAT I’VE BEEN SUCH A GOOD PARENT THAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE OPENING WITH ME– OPENING UP TO ME WHEN YOU ARE READY. THAT IS A ROLLED DOWN VERSION OF WHAT MY MOM TOLD ME. IT’S IMPERATIVE BUT WE DON’T WANT TO ASSUME THAT LOVING, NON-ABUSIVE PARENTS ARE THE DEFAULT HERE. NOT EVERYONE HAS THAT LUXURY. ABOVE ALL I WOULD LIKE MY FRIENDS TO FEEL SAFE AND RESPECTED IN A PLACE WHERE THEY SPEND A LARGE PROPORTION OF THEIR DAYS. BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO TAKE IT FROM ME. TAKE IT FROM THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THESE GUIDELINES. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>EMILY HUBBLE, FOLLOWED BY JEFFERY MURPHY.>>HI, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME HERE TODAY. THIS IS PROBABLY REALLY STRESSFUL FOR YOU GUYS. MY NAME IS EMILY HUBBLE. I AM 18. I SUPPORT THESE GUIDELINES BECAUSE IT WILL HELP MAKE SCHOOL A SAFER PLACE FOR MY FRIENDS. I DO NOT ATTEND PUBLIC SCHOOL AND I RECOGNIZE THAT I’M VERY LUCKY THAT I DON’T HAVE TO FACE THE AMOUNT OF DISCRIMINATION THAT MY FRIENDS STRUGGLE WITH IN THEIR SCHOOLS. THESE GUIDELINES WILL HELP MAKE SCHOOLS A SAFER AND HEALTHIER LEARNING ENVIRONMENT BY ALLOWING SCHOOLS TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY– BECAUSE THESE ARE GUIDELINES– TO PROVIDE LGBTQ-BASED RESOURCES, INCLUDING LGBTQ-TOPICS LIKE CURRICULUM, WHICH WILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO HAVE EDUCATION AND INFORM THEMSELVES ON THESE ISSUES. EDUCATING STAFF ON HOW TO EFFECTIVELY DEAL WITH DISCRIMINATION IN SCHOOLS, AND ALLOWING STUDENTS TO USE THE BATHROOM THAT FIT THEIR GENDER IDENTITY. THESE GUIDELINES WILL BE INCREDIBLY BENEFICIAL TO THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF STUDENTS. IF STUDENTS DO NOT FEEL RESPECTED AND SAFE, THEY CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO DO WELL IN THEIR CLASSROOMS. WITHOUT THESE GUIDELINES IN PLACE , LGBTQ STUDENTS WILL NOT HAVE THE SAFETY AND RESPECT THEY DESERVE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>JEFFERY MURPHY, FOLLOWED BY CAMARIA WILLIAMS, OR CAT. JEFFREY MURHPY? WHAT?>>HE LEFT.>>THANK FOR TELLING ME. CAT WILLIAMS. OKAY.>>HI, MY NAME IS CAMARIA WILLIAMS. I REPRESENT EVERYBODY. I IDENTIFY AS A LESBIAN, AND I’M GOING TO READ SOMETHING I WROTE WHILE I WAS SITTING HERE. CHILDREN ARE CHILDREN. NO THEY DO NOT MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS, BUT THEY DO FEEL AND HAVE MINDS. THEY ARE DEVELOPING AND LEARNING THEMSELVES. CHILDREN KNOW WHAT THEIR PARENTS TEACH THEM, AND THEY BECOME WHO THEY ARE BY EXPERIENCE. I DID NOT WAKE UP AND DECIDE TO BE A LESBIAN. IN FACT I KEPT IT A SECRET FOR REASONS — I KNEW MY LIFE WAS AT STAKE. I KNEW I WOULDN’T BE ACCEPTED, I KNEW PEOPLE WOULD TREAT ME DIFFERENT, AND I KNEW I WOULD NOT FIT IN. I KNEW THIS BECAUSE I HEARD MY PARENTS TALKING BAD ABOUT LGBT PEOPLE. AS A KID I FELT WHATEVER MY PARENTS FEEL, THAT’S WHAT I GO BY. THEY MADE ME FEEL IT WAS UN NORMAL AND WRONG FOR SOMEONE TO BE LGBTQ. SO I WAS AFRAID OF MYSELF. BUT I AM WHO I AM. IF A CHILD FEARS SOMEONE OR BELIEVES THEY ARE JUST LIKE– I MEAN FEARS SOMEONE WHO BELIEVES THEY ARE JUST LIKE THEM, SOMEONE WHO IS AT A STAGE OF DEVELOPING, AND TRYING TO LEARN LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IS BECAUSE SOMEONE TAUGHT THEM IT WAS WRONG, SO TO BE THAT WAY– I MEANT, SO– YEAH, IT WAS WRONG TO BE THAT WAY. SO PASSING THIS BILL WON’T TRIGGER AN ABUSIVE CHILD NO MORE THAN A PARENT OR AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS ENABLING CAUSING THAT CHILD TO BE ABUSIVE. PASSING THE BILL WILL CAUSE A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS. WHEN I FIRST HEARD ABOUT IT, I DID NOT APPROVE, BUT NOW THAT I HEARD EVERYONE, LITERALLY, I HEARD EVERYONE’S OPINION, I THINK THIS SHOULD BE PASSED. BECAUSE I THINK THAT NO ONE WANTS TO DO THE WORK, NO ONE WANTS TO SEE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF THIS BILL IS PASSED. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE KIDS– OF COURSE IT’S GOING TO BE KIDS TRYING TO ABUSE THE RIGHTS. IT’S GOING TO BE STUDENTS BEING MEAN AND BULLYING ON OTHER KIDS, BUT THAT HAPPENS ANYWAY. AND I FEEL LIKE IT SHOULD BE PASSED, BECAUSE THEY FEEL IT’S IMPORTANT TO THEM. I FEEL LIKE THE BILL CAME ABOUT BECAUSE SOMEBODY TOOK THE TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN. SOMEBODY DID TAKE THE TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN, AND I THINK THAT IT IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF– LIKE– ALTERCATION DUE TO THIS BILL BEING PASSED, BUT IT IS WORTH IT. I FEEL LIKE IN THE FUTURE, IT WILL BECOME NORMAL. BECAUSE RIGHT NOW IT’S NOT. IT IS A PROBLEM BECAUSE IT IS NOT NORMAL. AND I DON’T WANT TO SEE THE HARDSHIP THAT ALL OF MY LGBTQ YOUTH ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH, BUT I FEEL LIKE IT IS NECESSARY SO THAT THEY FEEL ACCEPTED AND FEEL LIKE THEY ARE BEING TREATED EQUALLY IN THE FUTURE. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.>>JAMES JONES, FOLLOWED BY EVAN MURPHY. JAMES JONES HERE? JAMES JONES? HOW ABOUT EVAN MURPHY? LANCE HICKS?>>HERE.>>AND LANCE HICKS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY MARK PETSELD.>>HI, MY NAME IS LANCE HICKS. AND I THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TODAY. I BROUGHT A FEW YOUTH WITH ME HERE. AND I GREW UP IN THE CITY OF DETROIT. I’M A SOCIAL WORK STUDENT AT WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY. I’LL BE STARTING MY MSW IN THE FALL, AND I COME TO YOU TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT THIS BILL– A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUE OF TRANSGENDER STUDENTS USING THE RESTROOM OF THEIR PREFERENCE. WHILE THAT’S AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE BILL, I DON’T THINK THAT’S THE BILL IN ITS ENTIRETY. I HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH AT-RISK YOUTH FOR OVER A DECADE IN THE CITY OF DETROIT. AND THE MAJORITY OF THE YOUTH I HAVE WORKED WITH ARE LGBTQ. NOT ALL ARE TRANSGENDER, BUT ALL HAVE EXPERIENCED HARDSHIP. AND FOR MANY OF THEM THAT BEGINS IN THE CLASSROOM AND IN SCHOOLS. WITH THE YOUTH I SERVE– MANY PEOPLE THINK IF YOU ARE A YOUTH WORKER AND YOUTH ADVOCATE, MOST WORK HAPPENS WITHIN THE SCHOOL SETTING. FOR ME THAT HASN’T BEEN THE CASE. MOST OF THE YOUTH I SERVE AND WITH WHOM WORK WITH ARE NOT IN SCHOOL. AND MUCH OF THE TIME THAT IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT THEY HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO BE SAFE IN SCHOOL, AND SO THEY HAVE BEEN PUSHED OUT. GROWING UP, I CAME OUT AS TRANSGENDER WHEN I WAS 15, AND THE COMMUNITY OF YOUNG PEOPLE I CONNECTED WITH WERE NOT STUDENTS I MET AT SCHOOL. THEY WERE HOMELESS STUDENTS LIVING IN SQUAT HOUSES AND SHELTERS ON THE STREET. IN FACT, MANY TRANSGENDER YOUTH IN THE CITY OF DETROIT DON’T GO TO SHELTERS BECAUSE EVEN THERE THEY ARE FORCED TO BE IN GENDERED QUARTERS THAT DENY WHO THEY ARE, AND PLACE THEM AT RISK, AND THEY FEEL SAFER ON THE STREETS THAN IN A SHELTER. I AM CONCERNED IF THIS BILL NOT PASSED, NOT ONLY WILL IT BE THROWING AWAY A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT STUDENTS AND ENSURE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO EDUCATION, IT WILL ALSO SEND AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO OUR STUDENTS THAT THEY ARE NOT VALUED, THAT THEIR SAFETY IS NOT VALUED, NOT ONLY IN A CLASSROOM, BUT IN LIFE. I RECENTLY SERVED AT THE STUDENT ADVOCACY CENTER OF MICHIGAN, AND WHILE I WAS THERE– AND I DO NOT SPEAK ON THEIR BEHALF, BUT WHILE I WAS THERE, I LEARNED ABOUT THE HIGH NUMBER OF SEXUAL ASSAULTS THAT DO OCCUR IN SCHOOLS. SO I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE CONCERNS OF THOSE IN THE ROOM WHO MENTIONED THE NEEDS OF THE SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS. I THINK THEY’RE THE HIGHEST PRIORITY. IN PARTICULAR WHEN I WAS STARTING, ONE OF MY SUPERVISORS WAS WORKING WITH A STUDENT WHO WAS IS SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. SHE WAS NOT TRANSGENDER, SHE WAS NOT LGBTQ, AND NEITHER WAS HER ASSAULTER. SHE WAS PULLED INTO AN EMPTY CLASSROOM AND ASSAULTED, AND BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED THE SCHOOL DID NOT WANT TO BE FOUND LIABLE AND THAT SOUGHT TO EXPEL HER. NOBODY CONSIDERED HER RIGHTS. NOBODY CONSIDERED WHY THIS HAPPENED TO HER. SHE WAS CRIMINALIZED AND TREATED AS IF SHE HAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG WHEN SHE WAS 14 YEARS OLD, AND HER ASSAILANT WAS 18 YEARS OLD, AND THIS HAPPENED ON SCHOOL PROPERTY. THE REASON WHY I FEEL SO MANY PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THIS INSTANCE IS BECAUSE TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE VIEWED AS POTENTIAL SEXUAL PREDATORS. SEXUAL ASSAULT AGAINST STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS HAPPENS CONSTANTLY IN OUR STATE, MORE THAN WE WANT TO ADMIT. AND IT DOES NOT HAPPEN AT THE HANDS OF TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>MARK PETZEL? AND MARK WILL BE FOLLOWED BY RANDY BLOCK. OR MAYBE IT’S BLACK.>>HI, EVERYONE. APPRECIATE YOUR TIME. YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN DRINKING FROM A FIRE HOSE ALL DAY TODAY. AND I KNOW YOU WON’T REMEMBER EVERYTHING THAT IS SAID. SO HOPING TO MAKE ONE POINT THAT WILL STICK WITH YOU. AND THEN YOU CAN GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. I’M FROM GRAND RAPIDS, I’M A BUSINESSMAN. I’M A GENERAL MANAGER. I TOOK VACATION TIME TODAY TO SPEAK FOR MY FELLOW CITIZENS. AND BASICALLY WE DO– IN MY GROUPS WE DO A LOT OF DRILLING DOWN ABOUT OUR HERITAGE AND ABOUT THE RULE OF LAW, AND THAT’S WHAT I’M HERE TO TALK ABOUT REALLY QUICK IS THE RULE OF LAW. THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE STATES CLEARLY WHAT THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IS. THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT– OR GOVERNMENT IS INSTITUTED AMONGST MEN TO PROTECT OUR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND PROPERTY. THAT’S THE LIFE, LIBERTY AND PROPERTY OF ALL CITIZENS, NOT JUST A SPECIAL GROUP, OKAY? WE NEED TO DO BOTH. WE NEED TO UPHOLD THE LAW AND WE NEED TO DO IT IN LOVE. THE FOLKS SPEAKING HERE TODAY, I’M SURE THEY WON’T ABUSE THE SITUATION, BUT COMMON DECENCY IS THE PURPOSE OF LAW, SO THAT PEOPLE CAN USE THE RESTROOM AND DO IT SAFELY. THERE ARE A LOT OF PARENTS THAT ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT PEOPLE MISUSING THE LAW, SUBJECTING THEIR KIDS TO DANGEROUS SITUATIONS, AND, YOU KNOW, THAT’S– THAT’S WHAT THE LAW IS FOR. TO HAVE THE CIVIL SOCIETY. SO AGAIN, THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO PROTECT OUR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PROPERTY, AND THAT INCLUDES THE INNOCENCE OF OUR CHILDREN AND THE SAFETY OF OUR CHILDREN. THANK YOU.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.>>THANK YOU.

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