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.
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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.

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The school district's proposed policy is a response to accusations of harboring anti-gay sentiment. The measure would bar teachers from taking a stance on "controversial topics." The language of the policy is similar to the district's current one, which has some teachers calling the effort "redundant" and "unnecessary."

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An agenda for the school board's work session Monday night includes time to address a "consent decree" following a closed session with the district's attorney. Six former and current students claim the district failed to address their complaints of being bullied because of their sexual orientation.

Anoka-Hennepin driving past "neutral" policy

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.