Minn. School Board Hears New Draft Policy

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — The head of the Anoka-Hennepin School Board says a proposed policy for contentious issues in the classroom is much better than earlier versions, but he’s not ready to say if he’ll support it.

Chairman Tom Heidemann says the board is likely to vote on the “Respectful Learning Environment” policy at its next meeting in two weeks.

The draft presented Monday night says teachers should not try to persuade students to adopt or reject any particular viewpoints. But it also says district staff should affirm the dignity and self-worth of all students when discussing contentious issues.

The current policy requires teachers to stay neutral when sexual orientation comes up. Critics say it hampers them from preventing bullying of gay students.

Several parents who believe homosexual conduct is immoral testified for keeping the existing policy.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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