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Saugatuck Schools Reject Coming-Out Video

Saugatuck Schools Reject Coming-Out Video

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Saugatuck, Mich., may welcome gay tourists, but its school board has proved less hospitable to a sex education video dealing with coming out.

The board Monday night voted 5-2 to reject the 23-minute video, "Coming Out: What Every Teen (Gay and Straight) Needs to Know," which had been under consideration for the eighth-grade sex-ed curriculum, The Holland [Mich.] Sentinel reports.

The vote came after two public hearings that drew impassioned comments from both supporters and opponents of using the video. Some board members said they had been led to believe the video dealt largely with preventing bullying and harassment, but upon viewing it they found it focused more on sexuality. "This does little on the harassment and bullying component," said board president Mike VanLoon. "It's not the bulk of the video."

However, board secretary Joan Lamb, who voted in favor of the video, noted that several educational professionals had endorsed it, and few parents opposed it. Some of the opposition came in the form of mass emails, with 36 "in the same format," she said. Steve Hutchins, who cast the other favorable vote, said Saugatuck's demographics make it necessary for the schools to address gay issues, not currently included in the sex-ed curriculum, which has not been updated in four years.

Located on Lake Michigan, Saugatuck is a popular weekend and summer destination for gay travelers from larger cities, especially nearby Chicago, and has many businesses that are either owned by or cater to LGBT people.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.
Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.