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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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Related

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.

Teachers criticize Anoka-Hennepin district over anti-bullying panel -- with no teachers on it

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.

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.

Maplewood schools put students on 'bully patrol'

WCCO reports Maplewood Middle School now has 30 students on 'bully patrol.' Under the program, bullying is addressed not only by teachers but students. Three other schools in the district are also using the anti-bullying program.

Anoka-Hennepin district bullying lawsuit could be settled next week

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.

Anoka-Hennepin teachers aim to show policy a lesson

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."

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.