Anoka-Hennepin school district revises policy over sexual orientation

  • Article by: PATRICE RELERFORD and NORMAN DRAPER , Star Tribune s taff w riters
  • Updated: February 11, 2009 - 8:18 PM

The Anoka-Hennepin school board calls on district staff to take a neutral yet respectful stance on GLBT issues.

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inrealityFeb. 11, 09 9:23 PM

society promoting normality, values & morals? The public schools are government run. As a society we implement standards through our government. We promote marriage between a man & a woman because that is best for society and for children. Why are we not promoting this in schools? This doesn't mean that people aren't free to practice what they want but we should be promoting certain values. There is nothing wrong with this. We promote learning English as it is good for our citizens, we promote learning history so we aren't doomed to repeat it & we can understand how we got to where we are, we promote being lawful and respecting authority, there are many things we promote and promoting traditional relationships and marriage should also be included. This is the foundation of our society and the future of our nation. God Bless America.

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petergokeyFeb. 11, 0910:02 PM

"In Reality" missed the key descriptors of the policy - remain neutral yet respectful. The reality is that schools nor any other institution can't "promote" homosexuality any more than they promote heterosexuality. Sexual orientation isn't a choice, it's immutable and unchangeable. Every peer-reviewed study concludes this. Homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomena on the continuum of human sexuality. It's been present in every human society in every part of history, and is present in hundreds of animal species. It's natural. The policy simply asks that staff act respectfully. Really, it's the bare minimum that our human rights laws in Minnesota demand of public institutions. And, there isn't anything about being respectful of gay students and staff that *discourages* straight people from getting married and having babies. It's not a zero-sum arrangement. You can do both. There is no trade off between them.

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impatientFeb. 11, 0911:12 PM

Don't worry inreality, regardless of any respectful neutrality or maybe even God forfend, kindness shown to Gay and Lesbian families, heterosexuals will continue getting married and having children and grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Quite amazing really. You see they do it naturally. It doesn't have to be encouraged. And luckily for those of us who are gay and lesbian, somewhere around 10% of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be gay and lesbian as well!So you see it's in the best interest of society to be respectful, neutral, even kind to everyone because it may even be your children or grandchildren that we're talking about.

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geno1102Feb. 11, 0911:58 PM

In no way should there be any disrespect or bullying that is acceptable in the schools. However, this is an example of the schools caving in to special interests of the homosexual groups like Outfront Minnesota. Having a school district support groups that advocate dangerous behaviors is disappointing. The school board is not taking steps that are in the best interest of the children in the district. Groups such as Outfront Minnesota have been allowed to participate in teacher workshops while groups that present opposing viewpoints have been censored in the district. Beware of the door that district has opened to bringing those who advocate a lifestyle that is not normal and is dangerous to children mentally and physically. Schools should do better than this.

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woodtick57Feb. 12, 09 1:16 AM

That's a good one Geno! Build that bubble thicker!

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LPSJLBFeb. 12, 09 8:13 AM

AHSD should look at putting this much thought into budgets. As far as teaching respect, why does it have to be about sexual orientation, respect can be best taught by how the teachers treat the students and demand that the students treat each other. Why all of a sudden does it have to include sexual orientation? And how does this disrespect children who are taught a through family or religion that a gay life style is not normalcy? I know, I know there will be a lot of you saying well that is not right either...My point being teaching respect means respecting everyone's views and this is best done by teachers conducting themselves with respect for each other and their students with good manners, and let's let the parents handle the rest.

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oftencorrectFeb. 12, 09 1:06 PM

You said: "Sexual orientation isn't a choice, it's immutable and unchangeable." So does that mean that schools can teach in science that homosexuality is genetic? In that case, schools will also need to mention that homosexuals are, by definition, genetic failures. From an evolutionary standpoint, a real homosexual would not pass on its genes, and would therefore fail, in a genetic sense. I hope all the GLBT or LGBT or Super-friends or whatever won't sensor the science.

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petergokeyFeb. 12, 0910:50 PM

Often correct: You're not in this case. You seem not to understand how genetics work. I am left handed even though both of my parents are right handed. Were I have to kids, they might turn out to southpaws, or they could be right handed. Recessive genes aren't always expressed. The research on homosexuality shows that it follows a nearly identical path to handedness in terms of how it gets handed down. So evolution does not eliminate gayness. School could in fact teach this in class as fact...because it is. Public schools have a responsibility to teach what is factually correct. It's up to the individual to determine what sort of value to assign to facts. I don't think it's the gay super friends that want to censor the science - it's on their side. It's people whose dogma comes before a grasp on fact that attempt to censor it. Oh, and from an evolutionary standpoint (and I'm betting you're not on speaking terms with many evolutionists), homosexuality serves a purpose: diversity in the gene pool. That's how a species survives.

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petergokeyFeb. 12, 0911:06 PM

If you subscribe to a religion that looks at homosexuality as a sin, then you also subscribe to a religion that demands its followers love their neighbors as they would love themselves, to love the sinner but not the sin, to do on to others as you would have them do on to you, to have kindness in your heart to all people, and to be...wait for it...be respectful. So how does asking that homosexuality be dealt with in a respectful fashion violate your religion? This is a sincere question. I really don't understand how you think being asked to be respectful is an affront to any religious teaching I've ever heard of. Remember, the policy asks staff to remain neutral but respectful. Nothing more. And the major 3 religions DON'T say that homosexuality is not natural, just that the act of gay sex is sinful There is a fundamental difference. Being gay is an innate characteristic - it's a part of a personality. Having gay sex is an act you do. You can chose to have gay sex, but you can't chose to be gay. You can be gay and celibate, just like you can be straight and celibate. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all hold that having a gay orientation is not sinful, but have gay sex is. Even the Catholic Church, the most sexually conservative of all religious institutions, maintains this. So to have your religious views even begin to be violated, the schools would have to assign gay sex to students. I assure you that is not what the new policy mandates.

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petergokeyFeb. 12, 0911:06 PM

Past that, public schools have a legal and ethical responsibility to teach in a fashion that does not cater to any one religious beliefs. There are many religious institutions that don't have any prohibition against homosexuality. And to have curriculum driven by a religious belief is unfair to those who don't share it (not to mention illegal to do). A fact is a fact is a fact. Schools can, should, and do teach fact. If one has a dogma that prevents them from recognizing established facts, then that is a matter of the individual conscious and is therefore best left to the private teachings of the home or place of worship - not a public institution. I agree with you, though - as does board member Scott Wenzel - that we shouldn't need a policy that singles out gay people. History shows that policies that single out groups don't work out too well. Sadly, given the level of homophobia, heterosexism, bullying and discrimination gay people face (and in particular gay youth while in the halls of school buildings), it is necessary to address the issue. And why talk about it in health class? Well, they teach sex ed is health class. Homosexuality is a naturally occurring phenomena on the spectrum of human sexuality. Everyone knows at least a couple of gay people. It's talked about openly all over the place. It's just stupid to ask schools to remain silent on it, and not educated students when talking about sexuality. These kids share a society with gay people. Best they be informed citizens rather than ignorant ones.

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