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One board member resigns in protest

A-H settles lawsuits over “neutral” policy

The Anoka-Hennepin School District agreed to settle two lawsuits brought by five current and former students who allege they were targeted and bullied. The lawsuits took issue with the district’s policy of neutrality when the topic of sexual orientation was discussed at school.

The case drew national attention after a rash of attempted suicides by district students. Rolling Stone magazine wrote a story on the case this winter after two national civil rights groups sued the district. The suit claims that because teachers and staff were told to remain neutral, they did nothing to protect the alleged victims.

The settlement requires the district to hire staff to improve the climate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and more closely monitor and report bullying. A-H also will pay out $270,000 to be divided among the five plaintiffs.

The settlement was accepted at a packed school board meeting last night. One member resigned her post in protest.

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