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Senator Mike Shirkey

Education Update – State Board Approves LGBT Guidelines for Schools

Dear Friend,

This past spring we wrote you about draft guidelines for LGBT policies in statewide K-12 schools, written by Michigan’s Board of Education for the State Department of Education. We are grateful for your engagement and the large amount of feedback sent to the State Board of Education – they received over 13,000 comments! We want to continue to listen and tell you what's next.

Last week, the State Board of Education finalized and adopted their official LGBT guidelines for schools. Even with the updates in the final version of the document, we think the state-imposed guidelines miss the mark. They should more clearly recognize the irreplaceable role of parents and families in decisions affecting their children.

While we are firmly opposed to the general thrust of the guidelines, it is important to remember that parents, families, teachers and staff in local communities are in the best position to work on issues like this with their own local school boards.

The good news is that this document from the state board is only a guideline. You still have a great deal of influence… if you remain involved.

Perhaps the best thing you can do is to remain informed at the local level in your own school district. In our interactions with teachers, staff, and superintendents, we have found that there are many thoughtful, caring leaders in local school staff and administrative positions. We are thankful for local educators.

Stay involved with your local school district to see how these guidelines are handled. We will always welcome your feedback on the issue too.

Serving with and for you,

Mike Shirkey

School Booklets for Students

Attention all parents and teachers! Check out these student-friendly resources from our office that will help educate children about our state and government.

If you are a teacher who lives in Branch, Hillsdale, or Jackson County, and would like to request a box of these materials, you can call or email our office to request any of these booklets, and we will send them directly to you!

Call: 517-373-5932, or

Share this link with a teacher you know. We also have these items available to download from our website:

Coldwater Townhall – a Big 'Thank You'

We are very grateful for the involvement of people who came to our most recent town hall event in Coldwater. This forum was designed to show how to help those who may be struggling with an addiction to prescription painkilling drugs, also called “opioids.”

A few weeks ago we hosted an open-to-the-public townhall on the topic of prescription drug misuse. The meeting was held at the Community Health Center of Branch County, and included a panel of healthcare workers and local professionals who discussed the topic from several different perspectives.

Many of the people who came had also dealt with the opioid misuse in one way or another in their own lives. From first responders to former addicts, people shared their experience and knowledge, making it a worthwhile event for those who came.

We would like to thank those involved again for their insight about how this issue affects us locally, how the problem has grown, and how we can help those who may be struggling with opioid misuse. Keep an eye out for our op-ed on this topic in your local news.

Student Feedback from Lansing Visit

Check out these wonderful, personalized thank you notes we received from Hanover Horton Elementary students! Thanks for coming to tour the Capitol last week!

Letter from a Hanover Horton Elementary Student
Letter from a Hanover Horton Elementary Student
Letter from a Hanover Horton Elementary Student
Letter from a Hanover Horton Elementary Student
Letter from a Hanover Horton Elementary Student
Letter from a Hanover Horton Elementary Student

Senator Mike Shirkey
320 Farnum Bldg.
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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