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Anoka superintendent apologizes, says 'no doubt' bullying can contribute to suicide

The superintendent says the latest statement is both an acknowledgement that bullying could have been a factor in the rash of student suicides and an apology for an earlier message, which indicated there was no evidence that harassment contributed to the tragedies.
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The superintendent says the latest statement is both an acknowledgement that bullying could have been a factor in the rash of student suicides and an apology for an earlier message, which indicated there was no evidence that harassment contributed to the tragedies.

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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 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 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 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.

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.

Feds say Anoka-Hennepin now a national model for preventing bullying

The Anoka-Hennepin school district's new anti-bullying plan grew out of lawsuits that claimed schools were not doing enough on that front. Now the Justice Department says schools around the country should emulate the district.

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 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.