- Michigan state law does not mandate the teaching of sex ed. However, HIV/AIDS education is required. All curricula must be medically accurate.
- If offered, sex ed classes must be offered as an elective — not as a graduation requirement.
- All sex ed curricula must stress abstinence as a positive lifestyle.
- Abortion must not be taught as “a method of reproductive health.”
- While sex ed curricula are not required to include instruction on consent, it must include instruction on refusal skills.
- Sex ed curricula are not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Parents or guardians must receive written notice of any sex education class and can remove their children from any part of the instruction. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- HIV/AIDS classes may be taught by health care professionals or teachers specifically trained in HIV/AIDS education, and sex ed instruction must be provided by teachers qualified to teach health education. All instruction in reproductive health must be taught by qualified instructors and “supervised by a registered physician, a registered nurse, or other person certified by the state board as qualified.”
- School officials and school board members may not dispense any family planning drugs or devices in school, nor may they make abortion referrals.
- School boards must establish an advisory board to review all sex ed materials and curricula, which must include parents, students, educators, clergy, and health professionals. A state-approved sex education program supervisor must also be appointed. All curricula must be approved by the local school board and, if any changes are made, the local school board must hold at least two public hearings on the revisions.
- You can find a summary of HIV/STD and sex education requirements and best practices for Michigan public schools here.
- Other state standards can be found in the guidelines from the Michigan Model for Health, this set of standards for grades K-8, and the Policy to Promote Health and Prevent Disease and Pregnancy.
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
- Planned Parenthood of Michigan
- Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH)
- Michigan Radical Sex Ed Initiative’s Guide on Implementing Queer- and Trans-Inclusive Sex Education in Michigan
For more detailed information on how various districts in the state have been implementing these standards — and for recent legislation — you can read SIECUS’s Michigan profile.