& parental rights
Michigan has strong parental rights provisions written into the Michigan Revised School Code. Unfortunately, respect for parental rights and religious and conscious freedom in raising our children appears to be on the decline in both education and medical freedom. Michigan could be considered to be an "at risk" state in regards to parental rights, with some bureaucracies and politicians showing signs of idealogical alignment with states such as California, where parental rights have declined greatly over recent years.
At the moment, there is one political party which largely stands in defense of parental rights and freedom, and another which promotes legislation and policies to remove them. Choosing and supporting state legislators and local School Board members who will be champions of parental rights will be key in defending children and parents in Michigan in the immediate future.
380.10 Rights of parents and legal guardians; duties of public schools. MICHIGAN REVISED SCHOOL CODE
“It is the natural, fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children. The public schools of this state serve the needs of the pupils by cooperating with the pupil’s parents and legal guardians to develop the pupil’s intellectual capabilities and vocational skills in a safe and positive manner.”
Students are increasingly encouraged to access medical and sexual health services through school based and Health Department clinics, removing parental notification and consent for sexual health medical care. Teen resource websites used for students with Sex Ed and Healthy Relationships curriculum may direct students to Health Departments and Planned Parenthood for care outside of parental knowledge and consent.
On October 29, 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and several Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation called The Reproductive Health Care Act, which would repeal Michigan law requiring parental consent for abortion for minors. The Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH), (co-founded by the Michigan Department of Education's HIV/STD Consultant), supports removal of parental consent to abortion, stating "minors’ access to abortion is often obstructed by the legal mandate for parental consent or a court-provided waiver of parental consent, obtained only via judicial bypass process. We support the removal of the parental consent mandate in Michigan." MOASH advocates for Comprehensive Sex Education, amending the law to allow condom availability programs in middle and high schools, and adding the HPV vaccination to the mandated childhood immunization policy for school attendance. MDE's HIV/STD Consultant advises ISD Health Consultants on sexuality issues, who in turn advise school districts in Michigan.
“Natural" rights are those rights given to us by our Creator, rights that cannot be taken away by man, government or a school system. As parents, we take our role in our children’s education seriously, and reaffirm public schools are not given a role above that of a child’s parents. Children in Michigan may be exposed to sexualized content in school through books read to little ones, books in libraries and classrooms, anti-bullying campaigns, sexual behavior surveys and focus groups, and graphic Sex Ed curriculum and resource websites. State law does not require Sex Ed or sexualized content, and content children are exposed to varies by district. The 2019 Michigan Social Studies curriculum guidelines passed by the State School Board are not required by law, but may bring increased pressure on districts to include LGBTQ content. As guidelines are not law, individual school districts have the ability to make independent decisions on curriculum content. Michigan parents should be engaged with their individual School Districts to ascertain the curriculum and any sexualized content being used, and require transparency, as well as the ability to opt out of any sexualized content for children.
There is a growing demand in our culture for adherence to a set of sexuality beliefs, requiring compelled thoughts, speech, actions to demonstrate support, and now compelled parenting and sexualization of our children through school. Under Michigan law, the care and upbringing of children is the responsibility of parents, not schools. The parental right and religious and conscious freedom of parents to provide for the care and upbringing of their own children is protected by Michigan law and the Constitution of the United States.
We desire to protect parental rights and student innocence, as Michigan legislation has historically done. We desire positive health outcomes for all children. Educating children at young ages about sexuality and all manners of sexual pleasure (oral, anal, polyamory, consent at young ages, etc.) is not best for their physical or emotional well being, nor is directing children away from the guidance of their parents in obtaining medical care.
If Michigan school districts wish to offer Sex Ed, we advocate for abstinence based Sexual Risk Avoidance curriculum (SRA) such as what is offered through ASCEND, which demonstrates the healthiest outcomes for students, supported by United States HHS data and policy. In communities where there is a substantial divide over what parents desire to be taught in Sex Ed, districts could choose to offer 2 modules, as would be respectful of the beliefs of all parents. Parents can respectfully disagree on sexuality issues, and allow each other the dignity and freedom to raise their own children according to their own beliefs. Mutual respect and freedom is supportive of ALL parents, and is supported by Michigan law.
The bureaucracies in Michigan have created a strong network advocating for Planned Parenthood aligned Comprehensive Sex Education content to be brought to our children through our public schools. We stand against the over sexualization of children, and against the division Comprehensive Sex Education brings to communities. The over sexualization of children and overriding the sexual ethics taught by parents (whether through Sex Ed, library and classroom books, content slipped into core classes, assemblies and/or lunch time programs) is simply outside of the legal role of public schools, and is especially egregious when done without parental consent or the ability to opt out. If bureaucrats and districts continue to push for a role in a child's life not granted to them by law, Michigan parents will need to look to alternative school options to educate their children. Alternately, Sex Ed and sexuality content could be left to parents outside of the school setting, as “It is the natural, fundamental right of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching, and education of their children.”
We ask Michigan legislators to stand strong in their support of student innocence, parental rights, local district control, and absolute transparency in regards to decision making on sexuality materials to be taught and made available to Michigan children in the public school setting. Further, we advocate for no expansion of medical services in schools without parental consent and knowledge, to include the dispensing of contraception, the facilitation of abortion to students, and the facilitation of medical gender transition of children.
Regarding vaccination, Michigan law allows religious, philosophical and medical exemptions for infants and children for childcare and school attendance. We advocate for fully informed consent and parental choice in vaccination, as with other medical decisions for our children. Where there is risk, there must always be choice.
Many Michigan parents who use exemptions fully vaccinated their child(ren) until they witnessed injury. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) contains record of over 60 Michigan deaths of infants and children under the age of 2 following vaccination. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid over 4 billion dollars for injury damages since it began in 1988.
Right to Life of Michigan supports fully informed consent and parental choice with vaccines given the use of cell lines originating from aborted babies to manufacture a number of vaccines on the CDC schedule.
For additional information on parental rights and health and religious freedom regarding vaccines, visit Michigan for Vaccine Choice and the National Vaccine Information Center. Michigan for Vaccine Choice is an excellent resource and support for Michigan parents on medical freedom.