MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Anoka-Hennepin School District has taken a lot of criticism for its policy dealing with the sexual orientation of students.

The district faces two federal civil rights lawsuits filed by students who claim they’ve been harassed because they are gay. Still, there are those who agree with the district’s policy.

Ten simple sentences outline the Anoka-Hennepin School District’s stance on dealing with sexual orientation issues in the classroom. But, for the past two years, one sentence has been the center of controversy.

“The one sentence about neutrality was drafted by the district, insisted upon by district. We told them two and a half years ago, this is going to get you sued and they did,” said Phil Duran, a legal adviser for OutFront Minnesota.

Over the past couple of years, many have spoken out against the district’s neutral stance.

“It contributes to an environment where LGBT students feel unsafe. They feel disregarded,” said Duran.

There are also those who support it. The Parents Action League is circulating a petition asking people to back the district’s sexual orientation curriculum policy.

The group believes the policy strengthens the rights of parents when it comes to the education of their children, especially on sensitive topics, such as sexual orientation.

The phrasing continues to cause division among some in the district and the only resolution may come from the courtroom.

The Parents Action League has not yet responded to questions sent via email. They would not talk on camera.

The Anoka-Hennepin district said it’s not affiliated with the Parents Action League or the Anoka-Hennepin Gay Equality Team, a gay rights advocacy team that’s been outspoken against the policy.

“It has a clear and comprehensive anti-bullying and anti-harassment policy that leaves no question about a safe environment in the school for all kids,” a district official said. “What folks do outside the district is their business.”

Comments (6)
  1. chong says:

    so…..what is the sentence in question???

    1. jeff says:

      the sentence in question is the one plastered all over the video on top of this page.

      anyway, due to censorship, i will rephrase. i’m not sure what p.a.l. is worried about. it isn’t as if they are going to teach students how to have gay sex. this is about the bullying stance nothing more. the current antibully policy must not be satisfactory because tormenting continues. gays kids are being urinated on, spat on and taunted. how about preparing them for the real world and holding them to the same standards as you would in any workplace in the real world. the stories i hear and read amount to sexual harrasment in some cases.

  2. KeepItReal says:

    To tall, too short, too thin, too fat, red hair, black hair, long hair, short hair, designer clothes, k-mart clothes, wrong car, wrong, purse, too much makeup, no make up, talks funny, doesn’t talk enough, skin too light, skin too dark, likes nascar, likes soccer, doesn’t like baseball, likes classical music, likes punk rock…this list goes on an on why kids are teased…sexual orientation should NOT receive any special status or treatment. It should not receive any special status or be called out in any policy. Take all the time you are spending, trying to create a special class for gay kids and go volunteer at a homeless shelter.

    1. Mel says:

      YES! Keep it consistent and address the bullying. If I were gay and in high school, the last thing I would want is for all my peers to have to sit through special classes on how to be sensitive to me. That isolates gays even more. It’s like putting a big ol’ spotlight on them. “now Jimmy, you’re gay right? Come up here and be part of our role play game.” Grab the bullies by the back of the neck, march them to the principals office, take away their sports/music privileges, etc. That will send the right message to all the bullies.

    2. Mike says:

      It is only receiving special attention because people like you are making it an issue. Keep your bullying kids off of others backs, fall in line with the rest of the pack, keep your religion in your heart and save your sermons for Sunday. The district is facing two Federal lawsuits, but the area doesn’t have a problem or need attention addressed to discriminatory behavior? Pull your head of your derriere
      and take a look in the mirror, your a big part of the problem…….

  3. Frank B. Right says:

    The fact that gay kids have low self esteem and are self centered (as are the adults) should be the topic here…

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