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Petitioning School Board Member Tom Heidemann and 5 others

Stop Anti-Gay Bullying in Anoka-Hennepin, MN

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) have demanded that Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District take immediate action to stop the bullying of LGBT students by dropping its so-called “neutrality” policy.

Since November 2009, at least four LGBT students in the District have died by suicide.  And an ongoing investigation by SPLC and NCLR has found a pervasive atmosphere of anti-gay hostility in Anoka-Hennepin schools. Many students have been pushed out of school or experienced emotional and physical trauma as a result of constant bullying. In one incident, a teenage student was violently assaulted and called "faggot" as a teacher and students stood by. He later dropped out of school.

So far the District is standing behind its policy. It seems it would rather waste time and money defending an unconstitutional policy that puts LGBT students at risk than create a safer environment for all of its students. SPLC and NCLR will file suit if the District does not act immediately to repeal the “gag” policy and enact effective anti-bullying policies, including training for students and teachers to prevent anti-LGBT bullying from happening in the first place.

Tell the District to do the right thing today: drop the “gag” policy and protect the rights of all LGBT students. 

This petition was delivered to:
  • School Board Member
    Tom Heidemann
  • Director of Student Services
    Dr. Mary Fonken-Holden
  • Anoka-Hennepin School District Superintendent
    Dennis Carlson
  • Assistant Superintendent
    Dr. Michelle Lanenfeld
  • Board of Education Commissioner
    Dr. Brenda Cassellius
  • School Board Member
    Scott Wenzel

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