Erik Eckholm of the New York Times wrote an excellent article explaining the chronology of the successful lawsuit forcing Minnesota’s disgraceful Anoka-Hennepin school district to enact anti-bullying measures. Here is what you need to know:
- Thanks to pressure by hate-mongering anti-gay fundamentalist Christians, Anoka-Hennepin school district had devised an unusual policy, directing teachers to remain neutral on any questions involving sexual orientation. But some teachers said that this hampered their ability to support gay students and created a hostile climate for LGBT students in the district’s schools.
- The Justice and Education Departments began investigating the district, which serves 39,000 students, in November 2010 after receiving complaints of an unsafe environment for gay, bisexual and transgender students.
- Separately, six students filed a lawsuit last July with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. One student, Kyle Rooker, 15, briefly recounted how he was called names, shoved and at one point urinated on in a bathroom because of his flamboyant style. The six students who sued will receive a total payment of $270,000.
- Last month, the district rescinded the neutrality policy in favor of a requirement to “affirm the dignity and self-worth of students” regardless of race, sexual orientation, disabilities or other factors.
- In addition, according to the new agreement, the district will strengthen measures to prevent, detect and punish bullying based on gender or sexual orientation, hire a full-time “harassment-prevention” official, bolster mental health counseling and identify harassment “hot spots” on the campuses of middle and high schools.
Apparently, so-called Christian conservatives must enjoy having their righteous children urinate on and mug LGBT students, because the Parent’s Action League called the new agreement a “travesty.”
- Laurie Thompson, a spokeswoman for the league, told The Star Tribune of Minneapolis that the lawsuit was meant to “abolish conservative moral beliefs about homosexuality.” “Making schools safe for ‘gay’ kids means indoctrinating impressionable, young minds with homosexual propaganda,” Thompson said.
So, in the warped minds of these fundamentalists, giving free rein to predatory bullies and thugs to terrorize kids is in school is central to religious freedom and a key to upholding core Christian beliefs.
Have these fanatics no shame? Are they blind to the terror and ample evidence of ruined lives?
They purport to be pro-life, but it seems they are not much bothered by LGBT students who are bullied to death. If you think I am exaggerating please read Rolling Stone magazine’s recent article on the issue. Make sure you have tissues, because reading what these kids endured at the hands of bullies, tepid school administrators, and determined religious fanatics will bring tears to your eyes.