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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.] Sentinelreports.

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 is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.