Anoka-Hennepin school district's gay-bullying problem profiled in Rolling Stone

The title "School of Hate" isn't doing anything for the Anoka-Hennepin image.
The title "School of Hate" isn't doing anything for the Anoka-Hennepin image.
Rolling Stone

In its current issue, Rolling Stone magazine becomes the latest big-name national media outlet to come down hard on the gay-bullying problem in the Anoka-Hennepin school district.

In "School of Hate: One Town's War on Gay Teens" reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely writes about the plight of gay students in Michele Bachmann's home district, joining past scrutinizing reports from Mother Jones and The New York Times.

"The Anoka-Hennepin school district finds itself in the spotlight not only for the sheer number of suicides but because it is accused of having contributed to the death toll by cultivating an extreme anti-gay climate," Erdely writes.

The piece follows the struggles of 13-year-old district student Brittany Geldert, and features interviews with the controversy's well-known cast of locals: Tammy Aaberg, who lost her son Justin to suicide; Michele Johnson and her daughter Sam, who committed suicide in 2009; Jefferson Fietek, a district teacher who just announced a run for state senate on the anti-marriage amendment ticket; Barb Anderson, the most public face of the conservative Christian parent contingent; and Denny Carlson, the beleaguered district superintendent.

The piece also delves into the "no homo promo" or "neutrality policy," which is the basis for the still-unresolved lawsuit against the district by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It also touches on the current efforts to replace it with the Respectful Learning Environment policy.

Read the whole piece here.

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