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Minn. School District Takes It On All Sides

Minn. School District Takes It On All Sides


The Minneapolis Star-Tribune took Minnesota's largest school district to task for its lukewarm stances against antigay bullying, while an LGBT activist group said the Anoka-Hennepin school district's LGBT website is misleading.

The Gay Equity Team says the district's LGBT website -- created after a federal lawsuit was filed against the district that alleged officials failed to properly prevent students from antigay harassment -- contains several errors.

"On Thursday the group issued 10 pages of mistakes it says it found on the site. The group's Robin Mavis says the most egregious error is a transcript of a voice message to all staff from last fall that doesn't match the recorded audio," reports Minnesota Public Radio.

Since mid-2009, six Anoka-Hennepin students have killed themselves. Some have said a lax policy toward antigay bullying is partly to blame. It was in 2009 that the district revised its longstanding policy that stated "homosexuality will not be discussed as a normal or valid lifestyle." The policy was revised to state that "staff in the course of their professional duties shall remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation."

That's not enough, the Star-Tribune wrote in a Thursday editorial.

"It's simply wrong not to do everything possible to prevent harassment or bullying of children who may strike some of their peers as different," read the editorial. "Hopefully the district can prevent a lengthy, expensive court battle by rewriting its policies and establishing diversity training that would bring meaningful progress on GLBT issues."

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