• July 21, 2011

The Anoka-Hennepin School District No. 11 “Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy” is that “Teaching about sexual orientation is not part of the District adopted curriculum; rather, such matters are best addressed within individual family homes, churches, or community organizations.”

To many, such a policy might not seem objectionable but how does this policy of “no comment” play out in the context of gay-bashing or homophobia? ┬áIs the school district really being “neutral” if such hatred goes undiscussed, unaddressed, and uncondemned?Faegre lawyers, led by Michael A. Ponto, and joined by the Southern Poverty Law Center (based in Montgomery, Alabama) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (based in San Francisco, California) argue in their complaint that allowing daily persecution, humiliation, threats and ostracism is not a “neutral” policy.

In fact, they argue in their 68-page complaint that defendants have denied four students their federal constitutional rights and state rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Act with fourteen separate claims for relief.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen (D. Minn.).

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