Parents Action League
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The Anoka-Hennepin School District, one of the largest in the State of Minnesota, had passed a policy in 1995 which formally classified homosexuality as "not a normal, vaild lifestyle" per the district's curriculum. Controversy over this original policy was spawned by gay rights advocacy groups and led the school board, in 2009, to adopt what became known as the Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy, which stated that teachers were to remain "neutral" on issues of sexual orientation and couldn't take sexual orientation into account when addressing issues such as bullying. The effect of this was that the district turned a blind eye to various incidents of bullying and residual suicide throughout the school district that were directly related to inaction by the district. This caused the number of suicides of bullied students in the district (many of whom were LGBT-oriented) to skyrocket, which, in turn, led to numerous anti-discrimination lawsuits being filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the United States Department of Justice, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and others. Amid much controversy and media scrutiny, the school board decided in 2012 to change the policy to protect gay and lesbian students, or students percived to be gay or lesbian, from bullying and bias within the district.
Parents Action League's role
The Parents Action League was founded by local
homophobic nutjobs conservative parents, many of whom were responsible for the original 1994 school policy, who opposed changing the school policies to protect LGBT students. Furthermore, they went a few steps crazier by promoting an anti-gay agenda within the district, including wanting the schools to promote reparative therapy for LGBT students, defining AIDS as a gay illness, and a promotion of conservative, often Fundamentalist Christian, family values. Needless to say, they went ape shit when the school district settled the lawsuits and reformed the anti-gay policies.
- Their hate-filled website (enter at your own risk).
- An agenda that believes children who are gay should not have to worry about being bullied.
- Active anti-gay groups
- From the City Pages article on the controversies
- Suicides have parents questioning district's policies
- Anoka-Hennepin School District settles bullying lawsuit, Star Tribune
- DOJ files civil rights lawsuit against MN school district
- As students who were bullied due to being percieved to be gay (regardless of whether or not they were) were also given the cold shoulder
- Their list of concerns and demands.
- The Slate quotes some of them.