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Rolling Stone: Anoka's war on gay teens

Rolling Stone magazine takes an in-depth look at the Anoka-Hennepin School District's struggles with a sexual orientation discussion policy. Critics of the policy say it gives rise to bullied students and, ultimately, to teen suicides.
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Rolling Stone magazine takes an in-depth look at the Anoka-Hennepin School District's struggles with a sexual orientation discussion policy. Critics of the policy say it gives rise to bullied students and, ultimately, to teen suicides.

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Anoka-Hennepin schools slam Rolling Stone article as "distorted portrayal"

An article in Rolling Stone magazine suggests the Anoka-Hennepin school district contributed to the suicides of gay teenagers by fostering an anti-gay climate. Now the district is hitting back by criticizing the article and defending its work toward ending bullying and harassment.

Progress, lingering concerns in Anoka-Hennepin school bullying approach

Students, teachers and staff at Anoka-Hennepin say a new anti-bullying policy appears to be making strides. The school district is scrutinized and facing lawsuits after a series of student suicides--some of which are tied to bullying. The Star Tribune reports there are fewer incidents so far this year. But some teachers especially remain concerned about the district’s neutral stance on discussion sexual orientation.

Anoka-Hennepin teachers union backs new policy on sexual orientation

The Associated Press reports Education Minnesota overwhelmingly supports the district's new policy, which would replace the district's controversial "neutrality" rule. And the school district responds to an article in Rolling Stone magazine about the rash of suicides among gay students in the schools.

Anoka-Hennepin teacher, anti-bullying advocate running for state Senate

A gay teacher in the Anoka-Hennepin School District and an outspoken critic of the district's controversial policy on sexual orientation announced Wednesday that he's running for the Minnesota Senate against Republican incumbent Michelle Benson. Jefferson Fietek says his community is struggling with poverty, suicide and bullying but that elected officials are ignoring it.

Anoka-Hennepin school district puts off vote on policy for controversial topics

School board members for the Anoka-Hennepin District will delay a final decision on language to guide controversial classroom discussions. The policy would cover how teacher discuss sexual orientation and religion. Officials say they want to nail down some additional details before voting on the plan.

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A district-wide policy asking teachers to remain neutral on issues that arise from a student's sexual orientation has come under fire. Critics say the policy breeds hostility toward students who are gay or perceived as gay.

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The Sirius satellite radio host launched into a rant defending gay rights that included a reference to the Rolling Stone article about teen suicides in the Anoka-Hennepin school district. Stern says the Minnesota Congresswoman and Rick Santorum "are the two worst people on the planet."

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The district's task force also has no students or school counselors. Instead, the Pioneer Press reports, the group has a prevention specialist, three public relations experts and a lawyer. The district has come under fire after a rash of student suicides that some blame on bullying. Critics say the district's policies do nothing to protect students from harassment.