Students: Anoka-Hennepin teachers falsely accused of harassment

A group of former students say two Anoka-Hennepin School District teachers were wrongly accused of anti-gay harassment.

The six students, and a lawyer for one teacher, allege that student Alex Merritt retaliated after teacher Diane Cleveland reported to school officials that he talked about bringing a gun to school.

Merritt's mother, Jodi Merritt, calls the new allegations a lie.

Cleveland and fellow teacher Walt Filson are on voluntary unpaid leave following an outcry over Merritt's allegations, which they deny. The student says he's not gay but that the teachers ridiculed him about his sexuality.

The school district paid Merritt a $25,000 settlement under orders from the state Department of Human Rights. But neither teacher was interviewed as part of that investigation.


Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press