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School Board members in Minnesota re-elected despite furor over district’s ‘neutrality policy’

Photo: Larry Darling, Flickr
Photo: Larry Darling, Flickr

All three incumbent members of the Anoka-Hennepin School Board were re-elected on Tuesday night amid controversy surrounding the school district’s controversial policy limiting discussions of LGBT issues in the district’s school.

Marci Anderson and Tom Heidemann, both of whom support the “neutrality policy” won, as did Scott Wenzel, who opposes the policy.

Heidemann won over challenger Darin Rorman, 70 percent to 27 percent. Anderson won with 40 percent of the vote, beating challengers Mary Nelson and Randy Kolb who both got 29 percent. Wenzel ran unopposed and got 95 percent of the vote.

The district’s policy limiting discussions of LGBT issues has become a national controversy after reports of bullying and several suicides among LGBT students. It has sparked protests at the district and at least six lawsuits against the school.

The Minnesota Family Council, which supports the policy and endorses only negative portrayals of LGBT people in public schools, implicitly endorsed Heidemann and Anderson on Tuesday.

The district has been battered by accusations that its “neutrality policy,” which restricts discussion about LGBT issues. The district is currently being sued by six former students and their families for this policy. Conservatives have long been active in the district, pushing to maintain the policy.

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