Anoka-Hennepin School District reaches tentative deal over students' bullying lawsuits

The district has reportedly reached a settlement deal with federal officials and will meet Monday night to vote on the agreement.
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The district has reportedly reached a settlement deal with federal officials and will meet Monday night to vote on the agreement.

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Anoka-Hennepin votes to settle bullying lawsuits; lone dissenter resigns in protest

The district agreed to pay $270,000, which will be divided among the six current and former students who brought the lawsuits, hire new staff and adopt a system to watch for and report bullying. Supporters who attended the board meeting Monday night called the decision "historic." But former Republican State Rep. Kathy Tingelstad, the lone "no" vote, stepped down from the board in protest. The Pioneer Press has details ...

Anoka-Hennepin school board ends policy blamed for bullying

The school board voted Monday night to replace a controversial policy with a new one that they say will foster a safer and more tolerant environment for students. Critics say the district's old "neutrality" policy, which restricted teachers from addressing issues such as sexuality, left students at the mercy of bullies.

Anoka-Hennepin school district approves lawsuit settlement

The settlement applies to two lawsuits that claimed the school district failed to protect students from bullying that was based on sexual orientation. The students will receive $270,000 total. The one board member who voted against the settlement resigned after it was approved, saying it sets a bad precedent.

Anoka-Hennepin school board tries again on sexual orientation policy

District leaders are meeting Monday night to discuss a new policy on how staff members should treat a sensitive issue. The district's current policy requires that all staffers remain neutral on subjects of sexual orientation. Critics say that rule leaves students open to bullies and sexual harassment. But a second proposal didn't fare much better after it drew fire from both sides in the debate.

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 teachers tell district to ditch policies on GLBT issues

Teachers in the Anoka-Hennepin School District aren't happy about the old policy or a new one that could replace it. Union reps voted Monday against any policy that would dictate or limit classroom conversations on gay and lesbian issues. Some people who support the policy fear teachers otherwise would push a "gay lifestyle" on students. Critics say the policy leaves students at the mercy of harassment and bullies.

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.