State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
- Michigan schools are not required to teach sex education. However, HIV/AIDS education is required.
- Curriculum is not required to be comprehensive.
- Curriculum must stress abstinence as a positive lifestyle.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent. However, curriculum must include instruction on refusal skills.
- 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 education must be medically accurate. If a school chooses to teach sex education, curriculum cannot be medically inaccurate.
Michigan state law does not require schools to teach sex education. However, HIV/AIDS education is required. As outlined in Michigan Compiled Laws §§ 380.1169–.1170, 380.1506–.1507, and 388.1766–.1766a, schools may also offer sex education instruction, which can include information on family planning, family life education, and sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention. HIV and sex education must present abstinence as “a responsible method of preventing unwanted or out-of-wedlock pregnancy and [STDs]” and as “a positive lifestyle for unmarried young people.” If offered, sex education classes must be offered as an elective—not as a graduation requirement.
HIV/AIDS classes may be taught by health care professionals or teachers specifically trained in HIV/AIDS education, and sex education 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.” Abortion “shall not be considered a method of family planning, nor shall abortion be taught as a method of reproductive health.” Further, no school official or school board member may dispense any family planning drug or device in school, nor may they make abortion referrals. Districts found in violation of this may face corrective actions, such as being forced to forfeit aid.
School boards must establish an advisory board to review all sex education materials and curricula. This advisory board must include parents, students, educators, clergy, and health professionals. Each school district must also appoint a state-approved sex education program supervisor. 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.
Parents must receive notification of any sex education class and be allowed to review its content, and they may remove their children from any part of the sex education instruction. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
To access a summary of HIV/STD and sex education requirements and best practices for Michigan public schools, click here.
State Profiles provided by SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. For more information regarding your state’s sex ed policy, visit https://siecus.org/state_profile/michigan-state-profile/