Anoka-Hennepin votes tonight on agreement over pending federal lawsuitby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Anoka-Hennepin School District plans to vote tonight on an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights over a pending federal lawsuit.
The meeting will open in the boardroom at the Educational Services Center in Coon Rapids, at 6 p.m. for a brief vote on routine items and then go into closed session to discuss matters of attorney client privilege, the district said in a statement. Following that, the board will reopen the meeting to take a vote on the. A press conference will be held in the lobby immediately after the vote.
Two national civil rights groups sued last summer on behalf of six students who say they were harassed for being gay or being perceived as gay.
At the core of the dispute was a school district policy that instructed teachers to remain neutral when the issue of sexual orientation came up in the classroom. The district dropped that policy last month, but the move had nothing to do with the lawsuits.
After a speech at a bullying conference at the University of Minnesota Monday, Gov. Mark Dayton said he thought the district was heading in the right direction.
"I think they're making some steps in doing so, and certainly have some steps to go," he said. "This certainly is not how we want Minnesota seen in a national light."
District officials say the lawsuit will end if the board approves the agreement during tonight's vote.
Tom Weber serves as co-host for MPR News' The Daily Circuit.