Suit: Anoka-Hennepin Allowed Hostile Environment

CHAMPLIN, Minn. (WCCO) — A lawsuit has been filed against the Anoka-Hennepin School District, alleging that the district has allowed an environment hostile toward students who are either gay or just perceived that way.

The lawsuit was filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Faegre & Benson on behalf of five students who claim they were targets of harassment within the school district.

“The bullying of LGBT students is a severe nationwide problem, a problem that flourishes in part due to the inadequate response of school districts,” said Mary Bauer, of Southern Poverty Law Center.

The suit is filed on behalf of students like 14-year-old Kyle Rooker. He said he’s endured three straight years of escalating abuse in the classrooms and hallways of Anoka schools.

“Me and my mom are here today to insure no one else goes through what I went through,” Rooker said during a press conference Thursday. “The last three years, the kids called me names, and shoved me into lockers, desks and walls, just because they say I’m different.”

The lawsuit was announced just a day after it was revealed federal investigators have been looking into complaints of harassment and bullying at Anoka-Hennepin since last fall.

“We are disappointed that the district fails to see the serious harm this policy is causing its students,” said the head attorney behind the lawsuit, Sam Wolfe. “School and district officials who are entrusted with the safety and education of all students continue to ignore, minimize, dismiss, and even blame victims for the abusive behavior of other students.”

The suit cites claims of harassment reported by a number of students, including one who said he was picked on because he liked wearing colorful clothes and singing songs by female pop stars. According to the lawsuit, school staffers told him to stop wearing colorful clothing.

“One of our plaintiffs was told why don’t you go kill yourself, in reference to some of the other LGBT suicides,” Wolfe said.

The suit also says another student, who was subjected to anti-gay harassment for two years, sought help from staffers only to be told he should consider leaving school because they could not help him.

“There is something seriously wrong in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, and district officials know it,” said Kate Kendell, executive director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “This epidemic of harassment — unlike anything we’ve seen in neighboring districts — is plainly fueled by the district’s shameful and illegal policy singling out LGBT people and LGBT people alone for total exclusion from acknowledgement within the classroom.”

In October, the district changed its anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies after six students committed suicide in the span of a year and a half. The district’s own investigation found no evidence that bullying contributed to the deaths. But some family members and advocates disagreed.

Wolfe said the district’s neutrality policy, which strictly limits the discussion of matters concerning sexual orientation, makes the bullying problem worse. He claims what was intended to prevent the promotion of any particular lifestyle, actually leads to more anti-gay bullying.

But that is something the district strongly denies.

“We don’t feel it’s a gag policy as characterized by some,” District Spokesperson Mary Olson said. “It allows teachers to talk about homosexual issues, as long as it’s age appropriate.”

The lawsuit says the district’s “gag policy” has prohibited staff members from offering support to GLBT students, or to even acknowledge their existence. The legal team behind the lawsuit claims that policy of neutrality led to an environment where in certain students’ rights were violated.

And for the parents of those victimized, like Jeff Frei’s son was, if the district can’t help, they hope the courts will.

“No more — enough is enough,” Frei said.

More from Bill Hudson

One Comment

  1. viewer says:

    haha…i love the photo of the rainbow chalk.

  2. Judy says:

    I just shake my head at your comment…apparently the Anoka-Hennepin School District hasn’t been able to stamp out ignorance in the district either!

    1. Im not ignorant but I dont like to think says:

      And you are proof of that. Now what I just said was just to play along with what you said. Honestly though, your comment speaks for itself in the “ignorant” department. smh!

    2. Tom says:

      @ Judy

      They did their own investigation and that investigation cleared them imagine that! But I have no doubt they would react to differently to the situation if it were students who were considered social conservatives and they were being called nutjobs?

  3. Pam C says:

    This is a big issue and serious. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been attempting to work things out with the school district for months, but the school district apparently doesn’t care that students are being bullied so much that students have committed suicide. It’s appalling that some readers don’t get it!

    1. public education is a joke says:

      Agreed. Any issue that isn’t academic shouldn’t be addressed there. The schools have turned into big welfare and social services offices.

    2. Sam says:

      Brian, I doubt very much that the parents who are helping their children come forth with this voted Republican, as they wouldn’t be terribly supportive of their “sinful” child.
      Also, we’re not talking about cases where the school district didn’t know about the issues. We’re talking about students getting picked on, going to the administration, and essentially being told “stop being gay and it won’t be a problem.”

    3. The Architect says:

      Confused little Johnnys? Don’t play well with others? I can’t believe you just said that in public. How embarrassing to out yourself as a gay basher so quickly, eh?

      Why is it ok to harrass gay kids simply because you think they’ll be harrassed as adults?

    4. Tom says:

      @ Brian:

      Do you realize how fast word gets around school hallways these days? We didn’t have cell phone to send text messages! We didn’t have FB back then to send rumors about someone like they do now. But lets also face reality that just about every parent out there think their kids are perfect angels and wouldn’t do something like that but reality is kids act alot differently when they are around their parents than they do when they are at school and around friends. When a child is at home then they are in the care of. When they are in school they are in the schools care. And when something happens at school then the parent gets notified. Teenagers of today should not need babysitters, but a few them do! Its easy for a parent to blow it off if their child is not the one who is being bullied, but their attitude changes when it is their kid!

    5. Lake of the Isles Resident says:

      Yep, Brian, you nailed it. Also, that’s the district that elected Michele Bachmann. She represents them well!

    6. Lake of the Isles Resident says:

      We can only survive as a civilization if we have respect for each other. Confused little Johnny? That’s very mature of you.

      1. Gavin says:

        just curious. upon what evidence do you base this sweeping statement? its ridiculous. Read some history and get a clue.

    7. Matthew says:

      Dave — You’re an insensitive moron… If it was your kid, I’d doubt you’d have the same cavalier attitude..

    8. Jake says:

      Hate to burst your bubble, but the SPLC doesn’t have all that much authority over school district policy, especially in MINNESOTA. They need to get a LIFE,
      and f a d e a w a y……

      1. Payton says:

        You need to get a so called life ‘Jake’, if you don’t care then why are you commenting, and/or viewing this article?

  4. ml says:

    Fire all the staff and start over.

    1. Teacher says:

      ml~ staff rarely witnesses the bullying. The ratio of students to adults is like 40 to 1!!
      That’s the problem in public schools you all think it’s the teachers fault for students behavior. Why is it that parents NEVER come up as a source of the problem. These kids that are harassing the others have parents somewhere out there. Those being harassed know who these kids are. Start suing them or their parents.
      Wake up people and start looking at the source of the problem~parents!
      I Teach Here!

      1. Joleen Huso says:

        I agree. I’m a teacher as well in Anoka County and people need to STOP labeling an entire school district that is the largest in MN? Many of our schools are like small towns and we don’t witness the bullying because students are very careful to not do it where they would get witnessed by an authority figure. That is why parents need to be very active in contacting the schools and documenting every incident of bullying their child tells them about. The parents will be the first to know. In the school I teach at, we take bullying very seriously and have acted swiftly and appropriately when bullying has been reported.

  5. Been there says:

    The School Board reflects the will of the community – one of the communities who voted overwhelmingly for Ventura and Bachman. No wonder Anoka County is called the Appalachia of the Metro area.

    The staff and their efforts do not reflect the idiocy of the Board. Staff cares about kids, School Boards care about being reelected and pandering to the lowest common denominator.

  6. See BS says:

    1st Amendment says the government isn’t allowed to pass laws attacking free speech, and public schools are public places.

    14th Amendment says the government isn’t allowed to protect gay students more than everyone else too.

    No reason why young people have to be required by law to attend public school and get bullied around by gay supremacists.

    1. MARK says:

      I’m fine with banning all the “gay supremacists” from schools as long as we also ban all the Christian crusaders and propaganda too. I don’t want my kids exposed to superstitious nonsense. Keep that garbage in church and at home.

      1. See BS says:

        I don’t see religion being imposed on Public School kids, what are you smoking.

        Gay BLTers are imposing their gay activism bible banging on students, and this story is living proof of it.

        1. The Architect says:

          As well they should. Equal rights for everybody. You not liking the “icky” factor with gay intimacy is not relevant. Your kids have to go to school with gay kids too. Also, they have to not attack them or bully them. Sorry.

        2. MARK says:

          The Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t mention god anymore? Where I grew up in Wisconsin it is required by law to recite that religious pledge first thing every morning. Boo!

          Can you give me an example of gay students imposing their sexual identity on straight students from the story? Do straight students have to act gay? Does everyone have to recite gay propaganda each morning like they do for god?

          This lawsuit is about gay students being treated with respect as all the other students are. Nobody is imposing anything on anyone, unless it’s teenage bullies imposing their gay slurs on other students.

          1. See BS says:

            Kids are not being punished for not saying God in the pledge, a child is perfectly free to replace the word “God” with any word they want.

            It seems ditzy to be complaining about the pledge, compared to human rights violations in other countries.

        3. Tom says:

          @ BS

          Well social conservatives are trying to religion in Public Schools. I guess their view is if their kids have to be brought up nuts and delusional then so do kids who are sent to public schools.

          And you can accuse the GBLT of imposing thier gay activisim on students but social conservatives are trying the samething!

          1. See BS says:

            Only Religion being pushed into public schools in the news is Islam. Public Schools provide special rooms for kids who practice Islam.

            Sorry dude — but Christianity is not getting any credit from liberals for Modern America.

            Christianity and Corporate America liberated Europe from Nazism.

            1. James2 says:

              Ok, when I read your comments all I See is BS. Inflammatory garbage.

    2. meow says:

      Is is OK that these kids get death threats by fellow schoolmates? Yeah, sexual harrassment AND death threats. Try going to work and seeing how long it would take before someone got sued or arrested with these horrific behaviors. Kids have rights too againts cruelty and abusive attacks. It’s about time this was brought to light.

      1. Payton says:

        you know what’s dumb about students rights? my government teacher said students have no rights in school, and never will…

    3. Pkc says:

      Funny but my Constitution doesn’t read the same way as See BS’s does. Maybe you haven’t really read it – you rely on others to interpret it for you.

  7. gm says:

    Maybe Michelle Bachman and her husband can go fix this problem.. When are we as a country going to figure out we are only as strong as our weakest people.

  8. See BS says:

    In 1968 the US Supreme Court ruled free speech applies to public school students.

    “In our system, state-operated schools may not be enclaves of totalitarianism. School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students.”

    So the lawyer who is filing this lawsuit is suppose to be disbarred.

    1. meow says:

      Does it talk about freedom of sexual harrassment and giving death threats? Can we start doing that to just anyone now?

      1. See BS says:

        Gay “Activists” have been caught staging hate crimes across the country, a female student at St Cloud State admitted to slashing her own face after security video showed her putting up an anti-gay flyer in a coin laundry.

        Only people who have the authority to compile criminal records and punish citizens of the United States is our court system and “Due Process of the Law”

        So Anoka-Hennepin public schools are being sued for not being a criminal Justice system? Schools are suppose to be teaching math and science -Sorry!

        And I see no asterisks in the 1st amendment that says you cannot insult “Gay BLTers” on Public Property.

        1. The Architect says:

          All kids deserve to be safe at school and not be threatened and bullied and made fun of.


          And that is where the argument stops.

        2. meow says:

          @See BS

          You make some very good points and I both respect your points of view and understand where you are coming from.

          Still … Is it too much to ask (regardless of gay or straight because str8 girls get sexually harrassed also in school) to be able to go to a public school and not have your life threatened or not be sexually harrassed? Is that to much to ask for a 14 y.o. kid to ask these days? Is it too much to ask that the kid have a person at that public school help them in these situations so they can try and get an education?

          You might be one of the lucky ones ‘See BS’ who’ve never had to go through the levels and depths of abuse and terrorism that these peaceful kids have had to go through just because they were a little different. You are very very lucky in that respect.

          1. See BS says:

            As long as a person is not touching someone – sexual harassment is free speech.

            1. Paul Solinger says:

              Unfortunately for you, criticizing someone for having a low IQ and simple intelligence is also free speech. You must be a victim of free speech quite often. I’m sure you’re not a victim of sexual harassment, though, because even sexual harassers have standards.

              1. See BS says:

                “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

                Liberals are always Accusing religion of attacking freedom, but you have to spend a lot of energy explaining the definition of “Free Speech” to liberals.

                Reads pretty simple too me.

    2. Ted says:

      See BS – Free speech is not acceptable nor protected under law if you exercise that right to harm others.

      1. See BS says:

        You opinion is completely missing from the text of the 1st Amendment and has not been properly ratified.

        Do you have your own pretend make-believe constitution or something?

        1. Ted says:

          So you are saying you have the right to harm others under your right to free speech? A gay person who execises their right to be who they are can get bullied and harmed by those who exercise their right to bully and harm? What country is your 1st Amendment written? Anybody who knows anything about our rights we have in this country knows that our rights end when we use that right to harm others.

        2. MARK says:

          See BS, you know that the First Amendment does not protect all speech. Why make such a ridiculous argument? You can’t shout “Fire!” in a crowded public theater. That’s against the law. You can’t say all kinds of things in all kinds of places, such as hateful slurs against innocent minors in the public school system.

          I assume you’re just making a rhetorical statement above. If Republicans are really this clueless about the law and Constitution, then the Democrats have already won.

          1. See BS says:

            “Congress Shall Pass no laws” is confusing to you eh’?

            And the old Yelling Fire in a Theater is an old baby boomer pothead draft dodger lawyer gimmick to ignore the 1st Amendment for lawsuit abuse.

            1. Paul Solinger says:

              Sadly, your ignorance continues to show. Product of a private school system, were you? Or possibly homeschooled by equally ignorant parents? There have been court rulings outlining what constitutes free speech. Hate speech is outlawed, you can be held liable for slander and libel, and, of course, there’s the “yelling fire” example. In other words, there are limits to what speech is considered “free”.

              1. See BS says:

                But the 1st amendment bans the government from prohibiting free speech.

                Hate Speech is perfectly legal according to the law of the land.

                Liberals just call everything hate speech and bullying when they engage in censorship.

  9. Lori says:

    My daughter was bullied for years at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids. Our only option – we moved out of the district. Never had a problem. Made many calls to police, Superintendent, etc. Nothing, not one thing was done. THe School Liasion Officer was a jerk. Anoka-Hennepin Schoool District is a disgrace!

    1. meow says:

      I’m sorry to hear that Lori. You might have done the right thing. Now your daughter will be in a more peaceful environment so she can focus on an education, not to just ‘survive’.

      It’s really sad when going to school is more about survival than getting a proper education to help you later in life. Being a victim and trying to deal with cruelty on a day to day basis is seriously no fun.

  10. Mike Hawk says:

    Well put, I couldn’t agree more.

  11. Reailty says:

    Easy solution to the kids with the colorful clothes School Uniforms, that way everyone is wearing the same outfit.

  12. Everyone says:

    Here Here. Seems gays are only good at one thing and that is whining to get there ways.

    1. Jim says:

      Nobody cares if you “accept” the gay lifestyle or not. Really, nobody. People care about “harassment and bullying” of gays, which is what this lawsuit is about. When people stop the “harassment and bullying” of gays, maybe then gays will stop “whining to get there ways.”

    2. The Architect says:

      Yeah, why should we let them have their way and live their lives in peace without being harrassed? Why do they expect such treatment?

    3. meow says:

      Ya know something. I was asked a very eye opening question. “Why would you care what people do with their genitals?” and it made ma realize it seriously was none of my business and it was sort of gross for me to care what gay people do with their genitals.

      So with that, regardless of anyone being gay or straight, is it too much to ask not to be sexually harrassed or given death threats while trying to get an education? Is that really too much to ask?

      1. The Architect says:

        True, however, being gay is not a genital issue. They’re gay even when they’re not engaged in sexual relations, just as you are probably hetero even while your mouth isn’t full of wiener.

        1. MARK says:

          LOL. Another awesome post from the Architect. You are on a roll this week.

        2. meow says:

          Totally agreed with Architect.

          But still … from the gay haters making comments online here … “What do they care what other people do with their genitals?”

          If I was a kid in school being picked on about being gay, I’d ask that to the bully “Why is it an issue for you? Why do you care what two dudes or me for that matter, does with their genitals? Sick DUDE!”

          My gay friends are amazing people. They are generous and kind Americans… tax payers who I believe don’t deserve special treatment… just a bit more fair along with some civil rights that str8 folks get. Plus they give me respect and never hit on me.

          I say to anyone… if you don’t know at least ONE gay person, you might be missing out. They are a ton of fun with lots of great style and class. I’ve learned so much from my gay friends and in turn been able to live a better life. There is nothing to fear from them.

    4. Payton says:

      how about someone bully YOU and tell YOU to die, and tell YOU to leave and never come back, and tell YOU who YOU are is WRONG !
      I bet YOU would be ‘whining to get YOUR way’ too !

  13. anna says:

    this is typical attitude in this district—I have no doubt this happened and will continue to happen in anoka schools

  14. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    I love the colorful clothes statement…really wondering what he was wearing. I am not for gay bashing, but on the other hand gay kids need to know to live in society they will have to fit. Like regular clothes…we see many crazy dressed kids..pants around thir butts, tatoos and piercings all over. See how easy it is for them to get a job when they graduate. It is only up to the school district to see that the student’s apparel is non disruptive. Same as if a girl showed up with too tight and too revealing clothes should be sent home.

    1. The Architect says:

      So you’re saying they have to act straight or the straight kids are justified in their bullying.

      That’s nice….

      1. Someguy says:

        @ The Architect – Do you actaully read the post you are going to comment on or do you just skim it? What BTDT said was that he/she was wondering what the ‘colorful clothes’ student was wearing to result in such treatment? I have seen far too many kids wearing the most rediculous clothes (pants around the butt, “short shorts” that look more like underwear, very short skirts, piercings through-out the face, tattoos on the face). At what point does a person dressed in such a rediculous manner going to take some personal responsability for the way they dress? When I was in high school, a male student showed up to school in a dress. Not a kilt, not a robe, but a dress. He was promptly told to go home and change or he wouldn’t be welcome in school dressed like that. Why, because what he is wearing causes disruptions throughout the school. Student and teacher alike. I AM NOT SAYING IT IS OKAY TO BULLY OR ABUSE ANYONE!!! HOWEVER, when someone’s behavior or style of clothing becomes distracting to the learning process (whatever the person/persons are wearing) that is where the line should be drawn.

  15. sarah says:

    I am both a teacher and parent in the Anoka-Hennepin district. The district has a very comprehensive plan in place to address bullying of all groups, specifically the GLBT population. We have all received extensive training in how to address GLBT bullying. The students have repeatedly viewed videos which address GLBT bullying. They have signed forms indicating that they understand what bullying of GLBT students means and that it will not be tolerated. The neutrality policy pertains to curriculum ONLY. The A-H district has done everything it can, in my opinion. Unfortunately, a very tiny percentage of people feel the need to continue to harass the district.

    1. The Architect says:

      So they’re not being bullied, Sarah? Or perhaps since you claim it’s a “tiny percentage of people” they should all just be ignored.

      Thankfully, none of my 5 kids are taught in a school where you walk the halls.

    2. jebus says:

      Sarah…the head of your teachers’ union has gone on record as saying that teachers are having a difficult time knowing how to implement the neutrality policy. Having a policy that is not clearly understood by staff opens the district up to potential lawsuits as it can be interpreted by different parties in different ways. Your school board and administration appear to have foolishly walked into this hornet’s nest and now it appears the courts will settle this matter at taxpayer expense.

  16. steve says:

    Does your school have a GAY STRAIGHT ALLIANCE which is allowed to meet at school? My child’s school does and it is in the Anoka-Hennepin school district. Did your child view a movie which addressed GLBT harassment and then sign a form that said he knew what the video meant and that harassment of GLBT students would not be tolerated? My child in the Anoka-Hennepin district did. These people bringing up this law suit are fabricating anything to get in the spotlight and it’s wrong.

    1. The Architect says:

      Oh. Well as long as they signed it, then they’re not actually doing any of the bullying. Good to know.

      *rolls eyes*

      1. bob says:

        @Architect Don’t you have something to design? Oh, you’re an out of work architect obviously as you have most of the day to write meaningless entries.

        1. The Architect says:

          How is that your concern, bob?

    2. meow says:

      WOW that is great to know! Thanks Steve

      Sounds like “some” efforts are being made.

      This story is also on CNN … I think it’s gonig national.

    3. Guy says:

      What happens if the kid refuses to sign & claims he does NOT understand? (& given that the environment for both Gay & het sex harrassment is changing & evolving that is NOT a hard statement to make)

    4. Payton says:

      I went to Kyle’s school, I can’t remember if we have a GSA in there, because I’m a year or two ahead of him, i can’t remember what grade he’s in. But I know my High School does,

  17. kathy says:

    Stay strong Dennis Carlson!!!! Don’t let a dozen people rule what you decide for tens of thousands of people!!!

    1. Garbage says:

      Yes, Dennis Carlson, stay strong!

    2. The Architect says:

      I’m not sure I understand the point of your comment. Can you please clarify it for me and be more specific in what you’re stating? Thanks in advance.

  18. ch says:

    from the article; “The students want a judge to block the policy and award them damages” Do they all need the same amount of money, or does each have a varying amout due?

    1. The Architect says:

      How is that relevant to any of this?

      1. Garbage says:

        DId you read the article? Or like some other folks have said you’re out of work with your 5 kids? That is what the article stated! This is the reason this is happening, MONEY!

  19. Aaron says:

    The Anoka-Hennepin district has a more complete anti-bullying policy than any other school district in MN. I have looked at other school from Edina to Warroad and none directly address bullying of GLBT like A-H schools do. Shame on the Southern Poverty Law Center and the parents of 5 kids for creating an unjust lawsuit.

    1. jebus says:

      Shame on the Anoka-Hennepin school board and administration for creating a neutrality policy that the teachers don’t even understand. And if the teachers don’t understand it, it’s going to be open for interpretation to other groups as well leaving the district unnecessarily exposed to lawsuits. Since the board and administration did not take steps to remedy this problem, the courts will now sort it out for them at considerable expense. They should have seen it coming.

    2. Dawn says:

      It has been my families experience that nothing was done for my 13 year cousin who took own life because of the harrassement and bullying (she was in the Anoka-Hennepin district). They may have a more a complete policy however it’s only as good as it followed or enforced. I know many calls to all officials within the school district were made in attempt to get help from school to stop the harrassement and bullying. But it fell upon deaf ears.

  20. meow says:

    Ah… this is pretty serious. Unless you’ve been the target of this form of abuse and cruelty, you’ll just never fully understand. This goes beyond just normal kid teasing and picking on one another that we in some respects should go through at various stages to help “toughen us up” for later in life. This is being in an environment where not only are you abused mentally but physically. Some of these kids deal with getting DEATH THREATS, yes, I’m not kidding, death threats from other kids. Now imagine going home and not having any support from a caring or understanding parent. Imagine this week after week for months with a summer break, then going back to school and going through this all over again. It’s torture and cruelty. How is a healthy life for a deveolping child just because they are different? Regardless of gay or straight, this type of behavior from a “bully” is a form of torture and abuse. In an adult world, people would get slapped with lawsuits and or in some cases put in jail.

    1. Sharon says:

      Thank you meow, your words are perfect and I agree with everything you said. If we had more people who felt like you, what a wonderful place we would live in.

      1. meow says:

        Thanks Sharon. Much appreciated.

        It’s shocking what goes on in some schools. I don’t defend only the “gay victims” though. I have to take it one step further and say something in the respects to the “Bully”. As parents, would you want your kid to not change this inappropriate behavior toward those who are different? Can you imagine the life a “Bully” will lead? Can you imagine the restricted life a “Bully” will lead in the workplace??? It could to lead to lawsuits or even prison in some cases. Is that the life you want for your kid who is allowed ot get away with being a bully?

        I think something should be done NOW to protect not only the gay-victim but also the future of the kid who does the disrespective and cruel abuse.

    2. Jake says:

      OH BS. I got sucker punched one time while in high school and had a tooth broken in half, and it had nothing to do with being GAYor because I threatened my attacker. The guy who attacked me was at least 40 lbs. heavier than me, and to this day, I can’t locate him to pay him back. Cowards will be cowards, they willl always be among us, the only way to deal with them is to stand up to them, face to face, leave the SPLC out of it. They are only in it to make money.

      1. The Architect says:

        Not all kids are equipped to kick another kid’s butt, Jake. Just because they’ll always be around, doesn’t mean our only recourse is to train our kids to stand up and fight them face to face. No offense intended.

  21. Sharon says:

    I can not believe some of the comments made. I don’t care if the student is gay or anything else, no student should have to be afraid to go to school and be harassed.
    If a student talks to an employee of the school district then obviously they feel threatened. Why would anyone think a child is whining to get there way. I feel sorry for people who have no compassion for people. Life is hard enough at this age without being made fun of. I don’t know what the answer is for the teachers because I know they have a full plate but every child should be heard and helped if need be.

    1. The Architect says:

      Agreed, Sharon.

    2. Ted says:

      Yes, exactly. Well said.

  22. See BS says:

    I think “Gay BLTers” (Gay Activists) are trying to turn Public Schools into their own personal criminal justice system.

    Skip over that whole silly “Due Process of the law” thing all together.

    And it’s a proven fact when the newa media gives suicide a purpose, it causes more suicide.

    1. Jim says:

      No due process? What part of “federal investigators” do you not understand? Wow.

      That third sentence you wrote is utter gibberish. What in the world are you talking about?

      1. See BS says:

        The Feds are investigating a school for not being Gay Activists personal criminal justice system?

        This is money laundering, liberals raise taxes for public schools so gay activist lawyers have a lawsuit abuse gravy boat.

        1. Matthew says:

          See BS — did you take your psych medications this morning? It might be time for another dose… nutjob..

          1. See BS says:

            Nazis were psycho-babblers too, they used to castrate dissenters for having mental problems.

    2. Ted says:

      When media gives suicide a purpuse, it causes more? Is this Omar Kadafi? Why are you posting here?

  23. Sue says:

    Some parents cannot even control their own children, how on earth does this organization fee they are to control thousands. Sue happy and a bunch of BS!

    1. Garbage says:

      Yes, you’re right Sue!

  24. Mike says:

    A special thanks to CBS and WCCO for allowing comments. Believe it or not, there are other online news sites that don’t allow open opions and comments after the article. THANKS AGAIN WCCO!!!

    1. Mike says:

      open ‘opinions’ I meant🙂

    1. Jake says:

      So, another commie network.

  25. Lake of the Isles Resident says:

    Michele Bachmann’s District, isn’t it? The electorate is well represented in Washington… representative democracy at its finest!

  26. knowyourfacts says:

    What most people don’t realize is that the policy in question, doesn’t address bullying anyway. A-H district has two separate and distinct policies in place here; one addresses bullying, and is more than adequate. The other addresses issues such as sexual orientation, and has NOTHING to do with the bullying policy. It simply requires staff to “remain neutral regarding sexual orientation.” This does not prohibit them from stepping in when a student is being harassed, regardless of the reason (in fact, the bullying policy requires them to take action); it simply means they are not to encourage or give preference to one orientation over another. Most people refer to this as “EQUALITY.” Unfortunately, was we see so often, for some people equality simply isn’t enough. And no, I’m not saying gays have fully achieved equal status in this country; that’s a separate debate. But the policy is very clear, and unless you can show clear evidence of it routinely not being enforced, these kids don’t have a case at all

    1. jebus says:

      You indicated that the neutrality policy “simply requires staff to ‘remain neutral regarding sexual orientation.’” The president of the Anoka-Hennepin teacher’s union has gone on record as saying that teachers are having a difficult time knowing how to implement the neutrality policy. This can be very problematic for the district as the policy may be interpreted and implemented in various ways to various degrees. A good policy, especially as one as controversial as this policy, should be crystal clear. Otherwise it will be clarified in the courts.

  27. Matthew says:

    It amazes me how some of these insensitive jerks will defend the right of bullies to harass and beat up others.. (as long as it’s not THEIR kid, right?).. I hope this lawsuit is successful and sends a message to the larger community that anti-gay animosity in 21st century America will not be tolerated.. Go back to the Stone Age where you belong right-wingers !!!!

  28. Jesus says:

    Read my words…..and see the light………

  29. captainobvious says:

    Earth to people these are children doing the bullying they don’t have the same mentality as adults, listen if you want to roll around with a beautiful woman or slam a hairy guy, thats your choice, but understand the obvious the kids are doing the bullying not the district, the districts hands are tied toi an extent also, when we were in school many years ago there were no outwardly gay students and im 36, please don’t act like you know what its like now to be gay in school, kids were bullied for clothes and looks 20 years ago.

    1. Guy says:

      Kids were bullied for clothes and looks FOURTY years ago (I attended A-H & was picked on all thru high school for being a “nerd” …. tho the physical assults stopped after I broke one guy’s arm)

    2. Jake says:

      Indeed!! Today, most kids are a lot wimpier (hence the suicides), taught to quit when the going gets tough instead of the opposite, and why are middle school kids so obsessed with sexuality these days? What happened to the three R’s? It all has to do with all the celebrity JUNK, sexting, and a collective lack of discipline. Maybe a little less emphasis on SEX, and a little more on ACADEMICS would change things for the better…

      1. DARREN says:

        Amen Jake. And give the parents the rights back to be parents and to discipline their children. One good hard spanking taught me fast not to mess up.

        Get rid of MTV,Half the reality tv shows with young people, B96,KDWB,Get rid of texting, computers in childrens room. Quit saying yes to your children.

        Teachers are there to teach, not show your children how to be moral. That is the parents job.

      2. Paul Solinger says:

        Did you ever notice how people who talk about “the three R’s” think writing and math begin with an R.

        I can’t believe you implied that the suicides are because kids are too wimpy.. You are truly a disgusting human being.

        1. Jake says:

          NO, you are a being who is completely out of touch with reality. I was never a bully, in fact, I had a tooth broken by a bully with a SUCKER PUNCH, and it had nothing to do with gayness. So, MAN UP, Paul, and GROW SOME SKIN. This stupid business about 8th graders fighting to express their ‘orientation’ is BS.

  30. deanna says:

    I have lived in anoka all my life, been through the school system and also my kids, nieces nephews and I believe this is true %100—-so do my kids and everyone else I have talked to about this. I really hope these people win the suit—they deserve it…they will also be winning for all the kids before them in this hoorible school district

    1. @deanna says:

      So it’s a horrible district yet you stayed to raise your kids in this district, geez I hate people like you, hate to tell you but parents can step in also, but I guess when you’re overweight and generally lazy it’s to much for you, pathetic parents

    2. Jake says:

      Yeah, and let’s go forth with the black nail polish, tattoos all over the place, and the face piercings, TOO. Let’s all be free, and be allowed to disfiigure ourselves at will, before we are even old enough to understand what irreversible damage we have done to ourselves. Sometimes, a little discipline goes a LONG WAY.

      1. The Architect says:

        “Let’s all be free, and be allowed to disfiigure ourselves at will”

        Indeed, we should all be free to live our lives as WE see fit, not as JAKE sees fit FOR us.

        And that includes black nail polish, tattoos and piercings. Mind your own business. Nobody is telling you how to dress or what not to do, and you don’t get to do it either.

  31. Kevin says:

    I had a McDonalds burger today….it was cold….I am getting a lawyer……America sucks…..enjoy the ride….

  32. Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste says:

    These people are clowns! I have nothing against a person being gay, but man up!

    1. Gavin says:

      Agreed. These people seem to have forgotten how many kids are made fun of in school. Fat kids, short kids, kids deemed ugly, too tall kids, all are mocked, some are pushed around, said terrible things to.

      Teachers can inform the parents and have them reinforce in the kids to be decent, put the kids in detention, and can show the class some nice depressing stuff like cipher in the snow, but ulitimately, these are freaking kids, its going to happen. deal with it Otherwise, these kids are going to grow up with no ability to deal with the iniquities of life, in all its myriad cruelties.

  33. Darren says:

    I thought teachers were suppose to teach the children. Not babysit them, not teach them right from wrong, not teach them manners. Those are the responsibility of the parent.

    How about taking some of these kids and doing a little old fashioned rear end justice.

    1. Paul Solinger says:

      Yeah…a good old spanking will set them right. Seriously? You don’t have a clue how to parent, so sit down and shut uip.

    2. Jake says:

      But dayton now wants all day kindergarten, if that is NOT all day BABY-SITTING, at TAXPAYERS expense, than what is? Sure didn’t happen when I was a kid, and boy am I glad it didn’t.

    3. The Architect says:

      Darren, does that mean they shouldn’t stop the little kid from getting his A kicked by the gang of bigger kids too? They should just walk by with their eyes covered because they’re there to “teach the children” and nothing else?

      I think you just won the Dumbest Comment of the Day Award, and around here you had plenty of competition. Congratulations on the big win.

  34. Dawn says:

    My Cousin was just 13 years old when she committed suicide. She was a victim of the bullying and harrassement within the Anoka-hennepin School district. It really was environment hostile toward students who are either gay or just perceived that way. Help from the student counselor, principal, vice principal was requested and consistantly ignore. Teacher knew it was happening and were wittness to many of the accounts of harrassment and bullying. Many teacher have said they were in fear of losing their jobs. It’s appauling!!! Everyone as a community needs to have the courage to stand up and prevent bullying and harrassment.

  35. Payton says:

    I am a student in this district, and honestly, it doesn’t shock me at all that the teachers would do this. I was in school with Kyle, and he was in my theater class. I knew he got bullied. && I know people who get bullied all the time for their orientation. I saw it first hand when one of my friends came out for the first time, she got tormented, and the school didn’t do anything. I hate my school district because of what they do to these kids, they put on this act like they want us to have a good life and everything but they don’t see they are ruining people’s childhood because of their nasty comments, and not helping these kids.

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