Anoka-Hennepin School Board holds contentious reading of revised "neutrality policy"

Categories: GLBT
Janet Boynes Anoka Henn.jpg
Janet Boynes speaks in support of keeping the "no homo promo."
Last night's Anoka-Hennepin School Board meeting was the first time the public was able to react to the language replacing the district's controversial Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy. The so-called "neutrality" policy's most stalwart allies and vehement opponents were all on hand to speak their minds.

Even Janet Boynes, the ex-gay minister with ties to Michele Bachmann, made an appearance.

"Removing the present Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy . . . opens the door for promotion of the homosexual lifestyle in the classroom," she told board members.

The district's policy is the basis of a federal lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against Anoka-Hennepin, claiming that it creates a discriminatory environment for gay students. The key part of the policy reads: "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."

District officials insist that redrafting the "no-homo promo" has nothing to do with the lawsuit. However, the replacement policy, renamed the "Controversial Topics Curriculum Policy," does not specifically address sexual orientation and the word "neutral" is nowhere to be found. It reads, in part:

The study of controversial topics shall contribute toward helping students develop techniques for examining controversy, be appropriate to maturity and developmental level of students, be of significance related to course content, and presented in an atmosphere free of bias and prejudice.

Teachers and educational support staff shall not advocate personal beliefs or opinions regarding controversial topics in the course of their professional duties.

Read the whole thing here.

Not a single person who spoke during last night's meeting, however, felt the new language is an improvement.

Barb Anderson.jpg
Barb Anderson

​"The first thing that came to my mind was, 'Now we're going from neutral to labeling LGBT youth as controversial,'" said Tammy Aaberg, the mother of a district student who committed suicide in 2010 after being bullied for being gay. "My worry is that this policy will start this whole cycle all over again."

Aaberg and other LGBT advocates want the policy eliminated altogether.

Barb Anderson of the Minnesota Family Council was also in attendance. She echoed the sentiment of other speakers that district chair Tom Heidemann is going back on his promise during board elections to defend the neutrality policy. 

Anderson was a district parent who helped write the most harshly worded version of the policy in 1995, which dictated that "homosexuality not be taught/addressed as a normal, valid lifestyle."

"We will see more homosexual propaganda flooding the classroom," she said ruefully.

The board members will vote on adoption of the new "controversial topics" policy in January, but have not yet specified the exact date.

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13 comments
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satan rulez
satan rulez

what the fuck is going on here...all you christians are fucking bigots. barb Anderson being the worst ever. cant even believe it.

Anon
Anon

Barb Anderson11412 Mississippi Drive NorthChamplin, MN 55316

ACME Sales Rep.
ACME Sales Rep.

"Ex-gay"? More like newly-closeted. Saying you're "ex-gay" is like saying you're "ex-male", only without the option of surgery to make it accurate.

Jen Boyles
Jen Boyles

Not to change the subject from Kirk (who would be totally bored out of his mind without this website :) -- ) ... 

When I went to school at Anoka, a "gang" of overprotected suburban jocks with ping-pong paddles called "All-American Boys" ruled the hallways and pulled off racist pranks on a regular basis my senior year. The school did nothing but put out a few memos.  For years, admitting you went to school here came with a stigma that you're some kind of trashy bigot.  Especially in light of this "neutrality" policy, it's easy to see why.  This district makes me ashamed.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

Some bullying is always going to occur among kids but when you have kids committing suicide I can't believe more isn't being done.   It disgusts me there are people out there like kirk who won't change their stupid opinions even when there are dead children to prove them wrong.   How you can get so much hate in your heart in the name of Jesus really sickens me. 

fedup1977
fedup1977

Why you fools respond to Kirk is beyond me.  Didn't your mom teach you to ignore the stupid?

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

I think this is great!This would open the door for society to force liberals to learn about evangelical christian life.  and LIKE it!And NEVER say and negative or "bullying" things about a christian.Leftist lunatics display so much hate!So much bigotry!Why?Well it must be because of their lack of education on the subject.

Don't forget, this may also opens the door for things like, forcing religious individuals to learn occult, and forcing muslim students to learn about the wonderful world of pork.

Their bigotry and bad personal preferences MUST be due to their lack of education...

Guy
Guy

I only clicked on this article in hopes of finding some good old-fashioned Kirk lunacy. And, boy, you do not disappoint.

Christians being forced to "learn occult"??? Muslims being forced to "learn" about pork???

What in holy hell does any of this have to do with creating an environment where gay students don't feel that their only recourse is suicide?

All of your spittle-soaked diatribes can't cover up the fact that you're simply afraid of gay people.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

He isn't afraid of gay people.  kirk hates gay people.  That's why he made fun of the kids that committed suicide in Anoka-Hennepin.   He is a bigot. 

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Call me what you will. I'm not ashamed of ANY of it."Bigoted and Proud" is what my family always says! Good chattin with ya!

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

"feel that their only recourse is suicide"

Well if that isn't a extremely demeaning thing to say about the gay students.Good job painting them as a bunch of idiots, lacking basic problem solving skills.Did they become "vulnerable individual" (needing protection) before or after they became gay?   Should we also institutionalize them, because you say they are a danger to themselves?"Only recourse" Nice slap to the gay community Guy!As if their only choice is to take their own lives.

How far were they away from graduation?How many times did they report this action to school officials?How many times did they tell their parents?How many times did the parents contact the school to report this?Was the school official, that this was reported to, reprimanded of fired?Why not?Did the school official's tenure protect them?Did they write a suicide note saying, "I'm killing myself because I'm gay and people pick on me"?

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANSWERS TO ANY OF THIS

BTW Guy, Citypages loves me because I am attractive to you. (I only clicked... Because of Kirk)

Twolf
Twolf

Kirk, do YOU have any education at all?  I wouldn't want to attend your school.  Christians aren't the problem: JERKS are.  I lost a gay friend to suicide.  She had put up with gay bashing, being ostracized with those who CALL themselves Christians, yet are NOT people who would practice as they preached, and unless you are either privy to what happens in that community, or you are an actual PART of it, you are a TOURIST.

But since you are a troll, its obvious you are part of the problem, and I hope and pray you get what you deserve. 

Guy
Guy

Usually you're kind of funny, but that last post actually makes me worried for you. Do you have someone to come check in on your from time to time to make sure you're washing yourself and getting proper nutrition?

Actually, this is a good time to revisit the theory that Kirk is just an invention of CityPages used to drive repeat clicks from people wanting to see what absurdities he'll spout next. It's hard to believe that he could be a real person.

Kirk, in true conservative fashion, we demand that you produce your birth certificate.

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