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Talks Still Ongoing In Anoka-Hennepin Lawsuits

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(credit: CBS) Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Talks are underway involving the lawsuit against the state’s largest school district.

The case involves charges of the way gay students and others in Anoka-Hennepin say they were treated at school.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the doors to the St. Paul Federal Courthouse were locked, so it could be a long evening until a settlement is reached. There is no settlement yet, and officials are meeting with Magistrate Judge Steven Rau for more than nine hours trying to resolve a matter involving the Anoka-Hennepin School District’s neutrality policy.

About a month ago, five students, their parents and a group of attorneys met outside the school to announce the lawsuits. It’s been an all-day discussion to have the Anoka-Hennepin sexual orientation curriculum policy dropped.

The students contend that the current policy within the school district leads to an atmosphere in those schools where gay and lesbian students are bullied and harassed. The policy states that teachers must remain neutral on the subject of sexual orientation if it comes up in a classroom, but it doesn’t stop them from intervening in the case of bullying or harassing.

The students themselves claimed they were attacked and harassed both physically and emotionally, and that they’re due damages because of the harassment. The school district said it’s policy is only meant to keep classroom curriculum neutral.

The lawsuit seeks to have the policy dropped altogether, and it also seeks to have teachers and administrators go through sensitivity training. It also calls for school assemblies to address intolerance among students.

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