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Teachers’ Union Endorses New Policy on LGBT Issues

Teachers’ Union Endorses New Policy on LGBT Issues

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The teachers' union in Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin School District has endorsed a proposed new policy on discussion of LGBT issues, with some reservations.

The district, which covers several suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul, has seen several student suicides in recent years, which some observers blame on antigay bullying, and is the subject of a lawsuit alleging it offers a hostile environment to LGBT students. This has led the school board to reconsider its policy on discussion of sexual orientation.

It had previously required faculty and staff to remain neutral when the issue came up; the new policy says this and other political and social matters should be treated fairly and impartially, with respect for the dignity of every student.

Union members voted Monday night to endorse the draft policy, although their representatives will suggest some changes to the board, such as having administrators covered by the policy, union president Julie Blaha told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The union has had input on the current draft, however, and "people said this seems to reflect what we know works for our students," Blaha said. The school board is scheduled to vote on the policy next Monday.

Also this week, district officials responded to a Rolling Stone article on Anoka-Hennepin titled "One Town's War on Gay Teens," which chronicled the experiences of one student who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit and one who killed himself. A statement from the district called the article "a grossly distorted portrayal of the Anoka-Hennepin School District, its schools and its communities," the Star Tribune reports.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.
Trudy Ring, The Advocate's copy chief, has spent much of her journalistic career covering the LGBT movement. When she's not fielding questions about grammar, spelling, and LGBT history, she's sharing movie trivia or classic rock lyrics.