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Stateside: New Year, new governor; teaching kids to recognize abuse; is MI homeschool law too lax?

Crowd outside of the Lansing Capitol for Governor Gretchen Whitmer's inauguration.
Isabella Isaacs-Thomas
Michigan Radio
A crowd gathered outside of the State Capitol in Lansing to watch Michigan's newly-elected officials be sworn into office.

Today on Stateside, a breakdown of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s New Year’s Day inaugural address and what to expect from the first few weeks of the new administration. Plus, how to arm children with the knowledge they need to recognize abuse and tell a trusted adult.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

New Year, new governor, new Legislature: Michigan’s 2019 political outlook

Stateside’s conversation with Zoe Clark and Zach Gorchow

  • On New Year’s Day, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer was inaugurated on the steps of the State Capitol, ending eight years of Republican control of Michigan’s executive branch. Zoe Clark is Michigan Radio’s Program Director, and Zach Gorchow is with Gongwer News Service. They joined Stateside to talk about what stood out from Governor Whitmer’s inaugural address, and what they’ll be paying attention to in the early days of her administration.

Nonprofit offers tools for kids to talk about abuse and get help

Stateside’s conversation with Toni McMorris and Larry Matthews

  • The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations when it comes to the prevalence of child abuse. Toni McMorris and Larry Matthews are co-founders of the non-profit Good Secrets and Bad Secrets, which seeks to provide children the tools to recognize abuse and confide in adults. They discuss the mission of their organization, how they are reaching out to the public, and how to help kids determine which secrets should and should not be kept.

Whitmer will call Michigan governor’s residence home after house's 8-year vacancy

Stateside’s conversation with Mark Harvey

  • Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s inauguration on New Year’s Day will likely bring many new changes to Michigan politics, but one change that’s flown under the radar is that the Whitmer family is living in the official governor’s residence in Lansing, which hasn’t been occupied since 2010. Mark Harvey is the State Archivist with the Michigan History Center. He fills us in on the history of the residence and how the state of Michigan, which was established in 1837, ended up with a ranch-style house built in the 1950s for its governor.
  • This segment is produced in partnership with theMichigan History Center.


Michigan makes it easy for families to homeschool. Some say that puts children at risk.

Stateside's conversation with Rachel Coleman

  •  In recent years, the number of American families choosing to homeschool their kids has been on the rise. Michigan is one of 11 states that does not require parents to have any contact with state or local education officials while homeschooling their children. Rachel Coleman is the executive director of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education. She breaks down how current laws address safety and quality of education for homeschooled children, and why it’s so difficult to pass legislation that regulates the practice.
  • Tomorrow, we'll hear from Mike Donnelly, an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association. He'll tell us why increasing state oversight of families who choose to homeschool won't make children safer, and what he thinks would make a difference.

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