Franz among lawmakers who oppose state board of ed cross gender proposal.

March 23, 2016
Rep. Ray Franz

Rep. Ray Franz

LANSING — Representative Ray Franz is among a group of lawmakers who are condemning a a draft policy initiative by the Michigan State Board of Education that could allow students to use any school restroom they choose and allow male students to try out for girls’ sports teams, all while keeping parents in the dark about their children’s everyday activities. Franz is the 101st House District representative, which includes Mason, Manistee, Benzie and Leelanau counties.

“These policy suggestions are evidence of a government bureaucracy run amok. The state board of education should be focusing on student achievement — not trying to take away parental rights. This government-know-best mentality disrespects the immensely important role of parents. The board should reject these suggestions as quickly as possible.” Franz said.

“As the parent of a 15-year-old daughter I am outraged at the Michigan Board of Education. This policy is evidence of a government bureaucracy run amok and goes well beyond their scope of educating our children,” said Rep. Lana Theis, R-Brighton. “The board has no business trying to take away parental rights, and this ill-conceived policy would put the health and safety of our children at risk.”

Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, said: “This outrageous policy forcing K-12 girls to share their bathrooms, locker rooms, or showers with boys—and hide that bizarre, radical practice from parents—not only violates parental rights but threatens the privacy, security, and comfort of our public school students.

“The state board should drop such attempts at radical left-wing schemes and focus its resources and staff time on actually educating students.”

The Michigan Board of Education has proposed a State Board of Education “Statement and Guidance on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Students” that the board is expected to vote on at its May 10 meeting. Public comments are being accepted on the proposal through Monday, April 11.

“We strongly encourage all parents and residents of Michigan take time to submit their thoughts to the state board for review,” said Rep. Theis. “It is imperative for parents to let the board know this policy is unacceptable and encourage the board members to reject the proposal.”

The board proposes six additional recommendations for schools, which include:

  • Recognizing students by chosen names and corresponding pronouns;
  • Using chosen names on unofficial student records, such as class/team rosters, yearbook and school newspapers/newsletters;
  • Using case-by-case determinations for locker room options;
  • Ensuring school dress codes are gender-neutral without restrictions based on gender identity; and
  • Evaluating all gender-based programs and maintaining only those with clear educational purposes.

“As a parent and former foster parent I am committed to protecting my teenage daughter’s safety and privacy,” said Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake. “For safety purposes in public bathrooms, gender should be clearly defined as biological. These considerations are not relevant to career preparation and should not interfere with other children’s privacy rights.”

State Rep. Thomas Hooker said: “The American College of Pediatricians recently said that, ‘Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.’ I, for one, want the MDE’s budget zeroed out until this guidance policy is revoked and an apology issued.”

The public can read the draft guidance policy and provide public comment online at the SBE website,, or fax public comments to 517-373-1233.

Questions and concerns also can be sent to individual legislators at:

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