The Michigan State Department has been the subject of backlash after showing a training video to educators in the state that guided them on how to navigate working with students in the LGBTQ+ community.
The videos have been labeled as ‘misinformation’ and been criticized by political leaders from both parties.
Clips of the training videos show teachers being told to hide certain information about students from their parents in some situations, as well as advising them on how to help students transition from one gender identity to another.
One clip, posted by a journalist from the conservative outlet The Citizen Journal, Christopher Rufo, showed the teachers being advised to keep the fact that a student was changing their preferred pronouns from the student’s parents, even in cases where the student is suicidal or has committed suicide.
The video clips have drawn criticism from the office of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose Chief Operating Officer, Tricia Foster, wrote to the State Superintendent Michael Rice saying the training videos had exceeded the scope of “parent perspective” and urged him to “review your trainings to ensure they comply with all applicable regulations, maintain department guidelines, and are reflective of best practices.”
Whitmer’s midterm challenger, Republican Tudor Dixon, also spoke out against the videos, saying the state was encouraging teachers to “hide important information from parents about their children.”
The Michigan Department of Education issued a statement on Friday, denying that the videos promote any “radical gender theories.”
“The professional development provided to educators is not promoting a ‘radical gender theory program’,” the DOE said. “It is helping educators address the realities that they experience in their classrooms every day.”
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