Justice Dept. investigating Anoka-Hennepin schools for harassment of gay students

Categories: GLBT
justin aaberg.JPG
Justin Aaberg is one of four gay teen suicides in two years.
The Department of Justice is investigating allegations of a hostile environment toward gay and lesbian students against the Anoka-Hennepin County school district.

The DOJ, along with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, are looking into the district after a series of teenage suicides were blamed on students' sexuality issues, CNN reports.

Friends and family say four teen suicides in the last two years can be traced back to students' questions about their sexuality, and two of those students were the direct targets of bullying.

The school district orders that teachers avoid talking about issues of sexual orientation, and officially maintains a policy that teachers remain "neutral."

The Department of Justice confirmed to CNN that it was looking into "incidents involving harassment or bullying," and the district said that school staff had been interviewed by federal investigators.

Anoka-Hennepin is the only district in the state with a stated policy of neutrality toward sexual orientation. Eight other states have similar statutes -- Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah -- none of them with an especially positive record on gay rights.

The county's "sexual orientation curriculum policy" reads:

"Teaching about sexual orientation is not a part of the District adopted curriculum; rather, such matters are best addressed within individual family homes, churches, or community organizations. Anoka-Hennepin staff, in the course of their professional duties, shall remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation including but not limited to student led discussions. If and when staff address sexual orientation, it is important that staff do so in a respectful manner that is age-appropriate, factual, and pertinent to the relevant curriculum. Staff are encouraged to take into consideration individual student needs and refer students to the appropriate social worker or licensed school counselor."

District Superintendent Dennis Carlson told CNN the policy was meant as a balance, presumably referring to those parents in the district who are gay-friendly, and those who aren't

"It's a diverse community," Carlson said, "and what we're trying to do, what I'm trying to do as a superintendent is walk down the middle of the road."

Tammy Aaberg's 15-year-old son Justin committed suicide after another student at Anoka High School told Aaberg he was going to hell because he was gay. Tammy Aaberg said the policy keeping teachers "neutral" is partly to blame for her son's death.


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5 comments
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lisa
lisa

These are public schools enforcing their personal version of sexuality based upon religion.  If you do not want you children to learn about homosexuality you have the choice of homeschooling or sending your child to a private religious school.

Barbara Anderson should arrested as being a leader of a hate group. These people should wear white hoods, they are no different than the KKK. 

Silverfox1050
Silverfox1050

There was an attempt to push for action by one of the GLBT friendly teachers in Coon Rapids High School many years ago after a teen suicide for being harrassed and bullied for being gay...... The teacher was told point blank by the school officials that Anoka-Hennepin does NOT recognize GLBT within any building within the school district and that no attention will be drawn to it.  

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

They are targeting Anoka-Hennipen because it is the high school of Michele Bachmann.  They have presented a pool of 12,000 signatures.  After review, more than 85% of those signatures came from outside the state of MN, and some from as far a South Africa.I read within one of the LBGT own memos, that "if they can win there it will start a domino effect across the nation."

The Anoka-Hennipen district's supposed controversial policy, adopted in 2009, states that staff must "remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation" and that "such matters are best addressed within individual family homes, churches, or community organizations."

Remain  "neutral"?WTF is "controversial" about that?

Are you starting to see who the bullies are?

And the "Justice Department"Well that is just laughable.Here is a group that used you tax dollars to give to criminals to buy gun that ended up killing border agents.  Google: "fast and furious - guns"

Oh yes, the "Justice Department"Here is a group that would not prosecute the Black Panthers for voter intimidation in Philly even though a local Philly police officer removed the black panther with the night stick from the polling place.Google: "black panthers at polling place"

And they target the Anoka-Hennipen School District for "remaining natural"

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

kirk the idiot said:  Remain  "neutral"?

WTF is "controversial" about that?

City Pages said:  "Friends and family say four teen suicides in the last two years can be traced back to students' questions about their sexuality, and two of those students were the direct targets of bullying."

Try reading the article scumbag.   Anoka is killing children with their shitty policy that's why its controversial moron.     Stupid asshat idiot.   It's so creepy how obsessed you are with defending homophobic idiots that make gay teens miserable.  

Jeremy B
Jeremy B

Obvious Troll is obvious.

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