Anoka-Hennepin board scraps 'controversial topics' proposal

'Controversial topics' meeting
More than a dozen people spoke out about the "controversial topics" proposal at a meeting of the Anoka-Hennepin School District on Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, in Coon Rapids.
MPR Photo/Tom Weber

The Anoka-Hennepin school board is revising its plan for replacing a policy on sexual orientation curriculum matters.

Current policy requires staff to remain neutral when the topic of sexual orientation comes up in school. Last month, the board considered a proposed policy that would ban teachers from advocating their personal beliefs on controversial topics.

That proposal drew strong opposition during two public meetings and is now being scrapped.

The board will instead consider what's called 'Respectful Learning Environment' policy, said Superintendent Dennis Carlson.

"We're trying to grasp that in a policy and make that very clear, so that when we do staff development and training on issues that are going before that, that we have some ability to control that and make it clear and make sure classrooms are safe, respectful learning environments," Carlson said.

The new proposal isn't yet available for review. The wording will be finalized this weekend, Carlson said.