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Rolling Stone takes on Anoka-Hennepin

Timothy Kincaid

February 2nd, 2012

Those who read here know the name Anoka-Hennepin School District. You know that this district, Michele Bachmann’s home turf, has the worst record in the nation for anti-gay bullying and for student suicides. You know that the school board is determined not to notice the connection or do anything which will lessen the terror for the gay students forced to attend their schools. You know that I personally believe that the members of the school board along with a few principals should be brought up on conspiracy charges and jailed for torture.

Rolling Stone investigates Anoka-Hennepin. When you are done reading you just may agree with me.

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Reed Boyer
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

A friend sent me this the same day – and I was reminded that I’d left out Samantha Johnson from my accounting of the suicides that have made the news since 2007 – 36 of them.

And it led me to further research, including a Daily Mail piece from 2010.

We often approach things from differing angles, but with in this instance we completely agree: “the members of the school board along with a few principals should be brought up on conspiracy charges and jailed for torture.” They have blood on their hands – and that’s close to NOT being metaphorical.

Best,

RB

tim
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Its very easy and shallow to blame the school board and the management of the schools. If you listen to some of the board sessions – most members are really trying to do the right thing but are faced against screeching parents, the well funded Minnesota Family Association, and evangelical pastors who rail against the gay agenda. They are stuck in a no-win situation. The simple reality is that its the parents and the pastors in the area who are the ones that have blood on their hands. And the state by not stepping and passing tougher standards – which they are finally doing this session (way too late IMO)

Btw if you look at Bachmanns Congressional District (6) you will notice that it essentially wraps around the Twin Cities and heads north into extremely conservative Minnesota territory (includes St. Cloud which has had race problems). Its the very definition of gerrymandering. Unfortunately it includes the relatively moderate city of Woodbury – my home town. Woodbury High School (which I graduated from and now my nephews attend) was among the first to institute pink zones and a GSA club in Minnesota.

StraightGrandmother
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

OMG, if that last sentence of the article doesn’t cause you to shed a few tears, you are stronger than me.

PaulR
February 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Timothy: Thanks for highlighting the article: it’s powerful and hard to read without crying and being outraged. The board’s job is to create a safe learning environment for everyone, not just for evangelical bullies who need to validate their moralness and have swallowed all the anti-gay pedophile charges.

Tony P
February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

Yeah this was shared on facebook. I did a post on it too. Reading through it I was getting angrier and angrier that that school committee couldn’t see it’s way clear.

Ray Harwick
February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

I can’t stop crying.

You know what really gets me? I sit here and the rage I feel consumes me. My own kid went through this same shit because she had two dads. I use my Facebook page just about every day to bring attention to this horror and I do it that way because I’m deaf and I just don’t know how else to reach people. So, I’m a grown man and a grandfather and I feel helpless.

If I feel that way with all I have going for me, can you image how helpless and hopeless this kids in Minnesota feel.

This is shattering.

Jay Jonson
February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

I couldn’t finish the Rolling Stone article. It is too painful. But I read enough to know that these bastards have blood on their hands. How can these bigots live with themselves?

Erin
February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

I’m tired of the parents and churches stepping in and pretending their children’s right to religious freedom is being trampled, and that asking school staff to intervene when gay or perceived to be gay students are called “dykes” and “fags” and pushed in the halls, and threatened to be beaten up, and even teachers join in on the humiliating teasing. We’re not talking about any instance where someone is trying to silence a religious student from discussing the topic respectfully with a friend and explaining his beliefs on the matter. If the “gay agenda” is to have a safe school environment and good learning atmosphere for all students and not accept that gay kids can be targeted without consequences, then yeah, I’m guilty of belonging to the “gay agenda” and no, I’m not ashamed. If a police officer comes in and arrests a student for his speech against another gay students, then yeah, I have a problem with that, but schools have a number of policies for handling discipline problems in the classroom and even guidelines for how to handle bullying. Why should the kids shouting “dyke” and “fag” get SPECIAL rights?

Regan DuCasse
February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

Too many schools are quite cowardly when it comes to which direction they’ll cover their asses, and try to reduce their liability.
If they cannot articulate, or express to parents the obligations the school has to EDUCATION and not DOGMA, then they need another level of education on how and in what way to differentiate religious freedom with religious authority, and expanding accurate and truthful information and EXPERIENCE to all students.

No parent would accept a school that stayed stuck in the information known in the 1920’s.
If they refused to expand what knowledge came since, what human experience and progress that had been made, then the parents would consider that school derelict.
And they would be.

Forcing a school to adhere to THOUSANDS year old doctrine about homosexuality or the interpretation of it and females, is as derelict in doing so about slavery.
Or a school teaching that because Jim Crow was a long held tradition, it was a RIGHTFUL one, regardless of the pain, suffering, injustice and lost potential from it.
Well, anti gay sentiment has the same root as Jim Crow.
Hysteria over non existent myths and misinformation about color, and the sexual proclivities of blacks.
Schools aren’t obligated to teach such misinformation, nor myths and the urgency of children being criminally assaulted and killing themselves gives legitimacy to the negative outcomes of such prejudice.
Religious belief is UTTERLY mutable, and unenforceable.
Homosexuality isn’t, nor can it be treated like a communicable disease within a learning institution.
Schools are not obligated, nor should they teach prejudice when social contact with gay people is inevitable and impossible to avoid.

THAT is what any school board can tell whatever parent. That anti gay sentiment is a liability. And that preventing it, is not.

Cowardice and stupidity are to blame for all this. And no school should indulge any of it.

Frijondi
February 3rd, 2012 | LINK

Whenever something like this happens, the school officials are quick to say, “Oh no, the bullying had nothing to do with it, the kid must’ve had mental health problems.” Well, yeah. Being assaulted verbally and physically on a daily basis, over a period of months and years, while the people in authority look on and ignore it (or condone or encourage it), tends to cause mental health problems. What those kids endured was not unlike the Stanford Prison Experiment, except that it lasted much longer, and they couldn’t opt out.

Any school board members, teachers, principals, or irresponsible parents who still think there’s no connection between kids being trapped in an abusive environment for seven hours a day, five days a week, for up to twelve years, and kids committing suicide, should volunteer for the Minnesota School Experiment. Perhaps some enterprising psychology grad student would like to set it up. For two weeks, the volunteers will experience exactly what a gay kid does in the Anoka-Hennepin school district, under carefully recreated conditions. They will be paid exactly what the Stanford volunteers were (in 2012 dollars, of course). Oh, wait. That experiment would never be approved, let alone funded, due to ethical and legal concerns.

Darina
February 4th, 2012 | LINK

*is speechless*

Charles
February 4th, 2012 | LINK

I can only pray that others shine the light on this school district.

AJD
February 6th, 2012 | LINK

tim,

You have a point, but the job of the school board is to ensure a safe environment for students, not kiss ass to Christians.

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