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Minn. School Board Likely to OK New Sexual Orientation Policy

Minn. School Board Likely to OK New Sexual Orientation Policy

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The Anoka-Hennepin school board in Minnesota is leaning toward approving the proposed new policy on classroom discussions of sexual orientation.

Four of the six board members told the Minneapolis Star Tribune they are "inclined to support" the revised policy, introduced at a meeting Monday, but want to hear more opinions from the public. Of the other two members, one said he would not take a position before more public comment came in, and the other could not be reached by the paper.

Further public commentary and a vote are expected at the board's February 13 meeting. The proposal is to replace the current policy, calling for teacher and staff neutrality on the topic, with one that still mandates neutrality but recognizes the importance of discussing issues on which there are conflicting opinions and explicitly affirms "the dignity and self-worth" of all students, regardless of sexual orientation or other factors.

At Monday's meeting, some of those who commented on the revised policy called it an improvement, some thought it a move to promote "a gay agenda" and wanted to keep the current guidelines, and others wanted no formal policy.

The matter has come up because of a rash of student suicides in the past few years in the district, which some observers attribute to antigay bullying. Some students have sued the district, alleging it fosters a hostile environment for LGBT youths. Anoka-Hennepin, the largest school district in Minnesota, covers several suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.