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Anoka-Hennepin settlement: Healing has only just begun

Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent Dennis Carlson, left, and school board Chair Tom Heidemann, announcing the settlement

Last night, school-board members in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, which has experienced a wave of student suicides in recent years, approved a 61-page consent decree settling two federal investigations and a major lawsuit brought by six students who said district staff turned a blind eye to bullying over their perceived gender identity or sexual orientation.

The agreement commits the district to making crystal clear both its support for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual students and its anti-bullying policy, and requires it to track, investigate and promptly address reports of harassment.  

Too bad the settlement doesn’t also include a truth and reconciliation commission. The accountability measures in the decree appear capable of making the district’s schools safer, but it’s clear any healing has only just begun.

Indeed, the press conferences that followed the historic vote were marked by tears, denunciations and an effort by a district communications staffer to shut down remarks by the teen plaintiffs and their lawyers.

Seconds into its scheduled meeting, the board voted 5-1 to approve the agreement, and then adjourned to the lobby of its Coon Rapids headquarters.

Superintendent Dennis Carlson, whose public statements throughout the controversy have been both contradictory and anguished, appeared palpably relieved. “Our gay students deserve to feel safe and be safe,” he said.

Administrators were unwilling to admit that mistakes were made, however.

“The district determined through an exhaustive investigation that our administrators and teachers dealt with the harassment reports in a professional, timely and appropriate manner,” said Board Chair Tom Heidemann. “We are concerned that a monetary settlement negotiated by our insurer, Riverport, leaves the impression that our staff did not take appropriate action.”

Continuing to fight the suit would have cost the district “millions,” he added.

Board member who voted ‘no’ resigns

Moments later, board member Kathy Tingelstad stepped to the podium and announced her resignation. The district, she said, had been “targeted by outside advocacy groups” that “bullied” her and other Anoka-Hennepin leaders.

Kathy Tinglestad
MinnPost photo by Beth HawkinsKathy Tingelstad

“With my no vote tonight, I do admit I am afraid of retaliation by these out-of-state organizations,” she said. “I am disappointed.”

Enforcing the settlement will use up scarce funding, give the federal government an inappropriate amount of control over local issues and set a bad precedent, she said.

Tingelstad was followed by Sam Wolfe, the Southern Poverty Law Center attorney who led the plaintiffs’ legal effort. “The gag policy is now a relic of the past, as it should be,” he said, referring to the so-called curricular neutrality policy, which the board replaced last month.

Wolfe praised his young clients, several of whom were clustered nervously behind him, some holding hands. And then he stepped to one side, as if to cede the microphone to them and their parents.

‘This press conference is over’

But Brett Johnson, assistant director of the district’s communications staff, moved between the plaintiffs and the press and declared the press conference over. Reporters demanded clarification – was Johnson going to shut off the audio-visual equipment? The power? Was the media being asked to leave?

“This press conference is over,” Johnson repeated several times.

After a moment of stunned silence, a cameraman burst out, “Are you really going to do this?”

Johnson’s boss intervened, but the students appeared overwhelmed. The first to agree to take questions quickly was overcome by tears. Several of the others put their arms around him and one stepped to the podium to bail him out.

‘Teachers are trying, I can see it’

“Every student deserves a good education,” said Dylon Frei, a ninth-grader at Anoka High School. “I didn’t get one, but it’s getting better and will be better for these kids.

“Teachers are trying, I can see it,” he added. “I haven’t had an experience for the last month and a half, and that’s something.”

“I personally am pleased that the district recognized that the status quo wasn’t working,” said Michael McGee, the father of one of the plaintiffs. “Thank you to the six of you for telling us something needed to change.”

In November 2010, in the wake of several student suicides, the U.S. departments of Justice and Education separately informed the district it was investigating complaints that students’ civil rights had been violated.

The mother of 15-year-old Justin Aaberg, who hanged himself the previous summer, and friends had begun complaining at board meetings and in the media about what they characterized as the district’s indifference to an epidemic of harassment.

Administration’s response

In response, Carlson told staff, board members, and the news media that an outside investigation failed to turn up any evidence that any of the deaths involved bullying. Indeed, he insisted, no one could find a teacher or staffer who had received any complaints.

A couple of months later, two lesbians who were denied permission to walk holding hands in a Champlin Park High School pep rally sued, with the backing of Faegre & Benson and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The district settled with the couple, but did not change the neutrality policy, which many blamed for sowing confusion about staff’s ability to intervene to protect LGBT kids.

In July, the law firms and the National Center for Lesbian Rights threatened to sue if the policy stayed in place. The parties quickly began mediation with federal Magistrate Judge Steven Rau.

$270,000 – and follow-through

In addition to $270,000 for the plaintiffs, the agreement requires the district to retain an outside equity consultant from the Great Lakes Equity Center, hire a Title IX/equity coordinator to oversee its harassment policies, monitor compliance and support student gay-straight alliance clubs.

Staff will receive more intensive training and each school will additionally have a staffer with further training designated as the go-to person for anyone with complaints, questions or reports of incidents. A mental-health consultant will be retained, and a controversial anti-bullying task force, now staffed by district legal and communications staff, reconstituted to include teachers and other staff, as well as students and parents who are active in the aforementioned GSA clubs.

Possibly most crucial, the district is now required to track reports of incidents, investigate them in a timely fashion and maintain enough data about each report for outside reviewers, including the federal agencies involved in the settlement, to decide whether it is complying.

The changes will be paid for using state funds allocated for districts to pay for safety measures as well as some of Anoka’s federal Title IX money. The settlement, as board chair Heidemann explained, will be paid by the district’s insurer.

Well beyond state law

The settlement goes well beyond what Minnesota’s weak state law requires and, if implemented in good faith, approaches the widely lauded measures in place in Minneapolis, St. Paul and other districts.

The agreement will remain in force for five years. If disputes arise over its implementation, the parties will return to Rau’s St. Paul courtroom.

“As a district, we have made significant progress,” said Carlson. “The most important thing we can do as adults is to model relationship building and honoring and respecting each child that walks through our public school doors. Words can either destroy the spirit of a child or build that child up.”

Comments (54)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/06/2012 - 09:41 am.

    Decent people

    should follow Kathy Tingelstad’s lead and get out of the government school system.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/06/2012 - 09:49 am.

    Kathy Tingelstad’s concerns are well founded

    As a candidate for SPPS board, I was targeted by the national gay rights groups Ms. Tingelstad speaks of.

    I questioned the wisdom of the district spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a pro-gay curriculum (Out4Equity), staffed by a permanent team of 4 full time, paid, gay rights advocates at a time when >40% of the students were not graduating and the district was holding bi-yearly excess levy referendums which claimed a lack of funding was harming the students.

    After my name appeared on gay rights websites, I received dozens of threatening e-mails which didn’t bother me that much…but when we started receiving phone calls, many from California, New York as well as Minneapolis in the middle of the night from drunken men who slurred fillthy threats to my wife and kids I fought back.

    It’s a shame to see dedicated leaders leaving because of the thuggery of deluded adults bent on using our kids to further their self-serving agenda, but I understand her fears.

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 03/06/2012 - 10:32 am.

      Something doesn’t add up here …

      The 2011 candidates filing for SPPS School Board (ISD #625) in 2011 were:

      Anne Carroll
      Mary Doran
      Tiffany Fearing
      Keith Hardy
      Kevin Huepenbecker
      Pat Igo
      Devin Miller
      Al Oertwig
      Lizz Paulson
      Louise Seeba

      Notice that “Thomas Swift” does not appear on this list.

      Did you misstate something in your post, Mr. Swift, such as the school district you ran in, or did I mistakenly assume that you referred to the November 2011 election when in fact you meant another year?

      Either way, would you please care to explain?



      Tim Walker

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/06/2012 - 11:46 am.

        Yes, you were mistaken

        I ran in 2001.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/06/2012 - 12:20 pm.

        I realize..

        This goes against the unofficial MinnPost censor policy of not allowing Tom Swift to respond to comments, but since this fellow has asked a question which bears on my honesty, I hope you’ll make an allowance.

        Tim, I ran, and lost, in 2001.

        • Submitted by William Gleason on 03/07/2012 - 07:03 pm.

          You really shouldn’t be complaining, Mr. Swift

          It certainly appears that the moderators give you plenty of rope.

        • Submitted by Tom Clark on 03/08/2012 - 10:25 am.

          In 2001

          the list of those who ran in the primary for SPPS board (ISD 625) was:

          Beth Carol Blick 1991 2.37
          Roxanna Lee Foster 2394 2.85
          Elona Street-Stewart 11072 13.17
          Glenda Hernandez 3688 4.39
          John Francis Brodrick 11127 13.24
          Phillip Ravitzky 1406 1.67
          Gary Wayne DeYoung 2140 2.55
          Georgia E Dietz 6757 8.04
          Elizabeth Montgomery 11088 13.19
          Mark Allen Roosevelt 1863 2.22
          Ed Day 1600 1.90
          Toni Carter 12338 14.68
          Jeff S Haycraft 1688 2.01
          Romona L Anton 2922 3.48
          Carol Ann Hugley 6162 7.33
          Scott Joseph Zimmer 5829 6.93

          I don’t see Mr. Swift’s name here, so his claim is still unsubstantiated.

    • Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 03/06/2012 - 08:25 pm.


      SPPS and AHS are about the same size.

      Zero teen suicides in Saint Paul
      suicide epidemic in AHS

      I would say a couple staff members is worth the life of teens.
      Pro life indeed. Please.

  3. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/06/2012 - 10:15 am.

    Good riddance

    Ms. Tingelstad won’t be missed, I’m sure.

    And good job on the camera man who shamed the communications director as he deserved to be.

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/06/2012 - 10:19 am.

    This Agreement Places the Concerns of Christian Conservatives

    Right back WHERE THEY BELONG: in their own homes and churches where they are entitled to teach their children whatever they want (as are all those Moderate Christians and those of other faiths or no faith who will teach their children other things).

    But when those children, whatever they have been taught, leave their homes and churches and enter public spaces of any kind, including public schools, their right to carry out what they have been taught ends precisely where it becomes a verbal or physical assault which affects the well being of someone who believes differently or whose biology leaves them out of the cozy little sense of “right and wrong” so loved by conservatives.

    That some of our friends are SO convinced that they are correct in their every thought and belief and yet SO insecure that they fear their own children will stray from the “true faith” in which they have been raised if they are not allowed to force it on others, even in school, is a testament to their dysfunctions and their weakness,…

    a testament to the reality that they find their “god” to be amazingly weak and ineffectual, NOT a demonstration of their devotion to their faith.

    • Submitted by William Pappas on 03/09/2012 - 05:57 am.

      parental legacy

      You are so right on that those parents (such as those in the Parents Action League) leave this terrible legacy to their children who in turn degrade and verbally abuse the very children and people their parents have targeted as unworthy of the whole of human rights. I have seen it over and over again. AHP’s neutrality policy simply supported that awful idea of isolation and persecution. No coincidence that the 6 suicides occured in this district or that Michelle Bachmann is their Congresswoman.

  5. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/06/2012 - 01:22 pm.

    Anoka-Hennepin settlement: Indoctrination has only just begun

    The homosexualists said it was about “tolerance”. They lied. It was about forcibly compelling acceptance.

    They are not to be trusted.

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/06/2012 - 02:36 pm.

      Classroom Rules

      Way, way back when I was a teacher (1970s and 80s), my classroom rules, based on the “Assertive Discipline” system,…

      rules which worked extremely well, were simple:

      1) Raise your hand and procure permission before talking.

      2) Listen to and follow the instructions given to you by the teacher.

      3) Keep hands feet and objects to yourself.

      4) Treat people and objects with respect.

      The new policy of the Anoka-Hennepin school board’s new policy falls squarely under item 4.

      NO ONE is forcing Anoka-Hennepin students to accept anything, but just because you disagree with someone else’s sexual identity, political persuasion, religious affiliation, or hair color, for instance, does NOT give you the right to treat them as more or less human, or more or less deserving of respect than yourself.

      In evaluating completed written assignments, of course, teachers have the responsibility to require students to support their work with facts and logical reasoning, including the questioning of their own perspectives, and the ideas and ideals they express. Being asked to do so is a necessary and proper part of the learning process and does NOT represent an ATTACK on students whose backgrounds make such research and reasoning more difficult for them (although those from certain ideologically-rigid backgrounds often FEEL attacked when asked to do so).

      Every student has the right to determine how they will live their own life (within legal limits).

      That some people believe the fact that they will no longer be allowed to verbally or physically assault other students is forcing “acceptance” on them is testament to how dangerously warped their sense of reality is,…

      and reveals the fact that such students, and likely their parents, are so pathetically weak and insecure in their own personalities that the only way they can feel comfortable living in the world is to seek to forcibly warp everyone else’s reality until it perfectly matches their own.

      If this were actually forcing “acceptance,” it would require students to respond positively to the sexual advances of their age mates no matter whether those age mates be the same or opposite gender. It is actually NOT forcing “acceptance” at all. It’s forcing behavior which demonstrates a basic level of mutual respect for all fellow students.

      • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/06/2012 - 07:20 pm.

        Ah, projection, thy name is….

        “the only way they can feel comfortable living in the world is to seek to forcibly warp everyone else’s reality until it perfectly matches their own.”

        You’re speaking of OutFront Minnesota and the HRC, right?

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/06/2012 - 02:43 pm.

      What is..

      What is a “homosexualist?”

      • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/06/2012 - 04:48 pm.


        The word “homosexualist” first appeared in Weimar Germany, afaik. It is defined as “one who is allied with or promotes homosexual behavior”.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/06/2012 - 03:54 pm.

      “The homosexualists”?

      I love it!

      But you’re right, Neal. The fact that Anoka-Hennepin is being *forced* to have gay clubs is proof of the real agenda. And it won’t stop there, I guarantee you.

      Before these national gay rights groups are satisfied, Anoka-Hennepin will be forced to create, and pay for, a fully staffed homosexual curriculum, just like Saint Paul and Minneapolis school districts are.

      The reason this district was targeted was because it had reached a size wich made it worth the cost and effort to roll out the full scale assault we’ve just witnessed. It’s far from completed.

      • Submitted by Jeffrey Klein on 03/06/2012 - 05:35 pm.

        Schools teach us about reality

        The world contains homosexuals. If teaching that they exist makes a curriculum “homosexual”, then teaching that Christians exist makes it Christian.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/07/2012 - 10:16 am.

          With all due respect, Jeff

          I suggest you take a moment to look at the curriculum you’re defending.

          Stated goals:

          Organize GLBT Employee Network to plan, advocate, and socialize.
          Meet with community leaders and foster collaboration.
          Conduct classroom lessons.
          Catalogue and distribute GLBT-related materials.

          That’s a wee tad more than “They exist”, wouldn’t you agree?

          And we haven’t even delved into the substance of those “classroom lessons”.

      • Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 03/06/2012 - 08:30 pm.

        If this slippery slope continues….

        Some day homosexuals might even be treated as human beings and no longer be beaten just for who they are and how they were born! This assault on straight people’s right to hate won’t end until the gays think it is safe to live in peace! We can;’t let that happen.

  6. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 03/06/2012 - 01:56 pm.

    bullying behavior

    Now that a settlement has been reached, I would like to know what specifically the bullying behavior was that the gay students received and the staff turned a blind eye to that caused the gay students to commit suicide and the current gay students to feel bullied. No names need to be used. The only incident I know of is that a couple of lesbians were not allowed to hold hands and march in together at a school function. There had to be more than that.

  7. Submitted by Beth Hawkins on 03/06/2012 - 02:57 pm.

    Rosalind;The allegations of


    The allegations of harassment and bullying went far beyond hand-holding:

    Indeed, if you want more detail than that there should be links embedded in that piece that will take you to the students’ legal complaint, which is tough reading indeed.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/06/2012 - 04:13 pm.

      Broken links

      Beth, the story you’ve linked to doesn’t involve anything more henious than objecting to lesbian hand holding, as Rosalind said.

      And the tough reading links are broken. Maybe you can re-post them here.

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/06/2012 - 04:40 pm.

        Link not broken

        And here’s an example of not just “lesbian hand holding” from the article. Note, these things happened to a kid who was not gay, but has 2 dads:

        “The bullying started right away and quickly escalated from taunts like “Gaymian” and “gayboy” to violence. Now a ninth-grader, Damien has been shoved, hit, choked, stabbed in the neck with a pencil, and told to perform various acts on himself and his dads.”

        Good enough for you and Rosalind?

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/06/2012 - 05:06 pm.

          I’m surprised at you Rachel

          That paragraph is not supported by any documentation. The links Beth promised we could follow are broken (“Page not found” is broken).

          I really do feel sorry for Damian, life has dealt him a crummy hand. I also do not find him at fault in any way. But:

          This story is fishy on several levels.

          1. How would students know about Damian’s home situation “right away”? How many kids discuss their parents with their friends? Did the “dads” make a grand appearance?

          2. The statements “Damian made” are right out of the national gay rights groups’ playbook. 9th grade kids do not speak like that….this kid has obviously been coached by his “dads.

          3. If my kid came home with a stab wound in the neck, I’d call the cops; where is the police report?

          As I have said, I’ve dealt with these groups before, I know the games they play.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/06/2012 - 04:42 pm.

        A couple of quotes directly from the article Beth posted

        “Now a ninth-grader, Damien has been shoved, hit, choked, stabbed in the neck with a pencil, and told to perform various acts on himself and his dads.”

        “An androgynous-looking female friend of hers got shoved into lockers–and had big bruises to prove it.”

        Stabbed in the neck with a pencil? Choked?

        Sounds pretty heinous to me.

        • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/06/2012 - 04:51 pm.

          What court

          allowed a child to be raised by “two fathers”?

          That’s not normal.

          • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/06/2012 - 05:34 pm.

            And who . . . .

            appointed you judge?

            • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/06/2012 - 09:54 pm.

              Non sequitur

              To reiterate:

              “What court allowed a child to be raised by “two fathers”?”

              Clearly, I did not state that “I was appointed judge”.

              I further stated it is not normal for a child to be raised by two fathers – or two mothers, for that matter. A child deserves to be raised by a mother and a father, both having a distinct role in the development of the successive generation.

              The definitions of “mother” and “father” have an objective basis and a fixed definition. The definition is well known across thousands of years of civilization, across cultures, religions, races, ethnic and national groups.

              • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/07/2012 - 08:12 am.

                Oh, you’re judging, alright

                although there’s nothing objective about the judgmentalism you’re displaying here.

  8. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 03/06/2012 - 06:24 pm.


    Did the staff witness these terrible incidents? And after witnessing these terrible incidents did they refuse to report them? Did the staff hear about the incidents afterward and refuse to report what they had heard?
    It sounds as if bad things happened and the staff was blamed for the bad things that happened, regardless of whether they kew about them.

  9. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/06/2012 - 07:29 pm.

    Wait for the beer garden speech

    Administrators are often paid to do PR, and to cover the posteriors of other administrators, board members, consultants, and even, on rare occasions, teachers. Mr. Carlson appears to have done what he would be expected to do in that context. Several suicides and lawsuits suggest that, while the *district* may believe that everyone concerned acted appropriately and responsibly, outside observers apparently disagreed. That school districts even *have* a “district communications staff” is typically an indication that listeners should stock up on salt grains with which to take whatever missives come their way. Mr. Johnson made the mistake of actually letting people see what’s desired by “communication staff” in situations similar to this one: that any communication be *from* the district, not *to* the district.

    Some might suggest that, when the messages all flow in one direction, there’s not really very much genuine communication going on. My school district often employed people in positions similar to Mr. Johnson’s to “explain” policies or district responses to events about which the people doing the explaining had no direct experience. Because of that, I’m inclined to cut Mr. Johnson just a little slack. Someone higher up in the district hierarchy likely gave him the impression that the *last* thing the district wanted was for some of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit(s) to speak to the general public. That could be seen as either a good or a bad decision, but I doubt it was one left entirely up to Mr. Johnson.

    The term “homosexualist” is so stupid it’s laughable, or it would be, if it didn’t also imply one more in an apparently endless series of bigoted insults. That it might be a product of Weimar Germany suggests that perhaps we ought to be looking for the brown shirts that go with the use of the term.

    Meanwhile, I look forward to explanations and examples of a “…fully staffed homosexual curriculum.” It’s something of a contradiction in terms, for one thing, but beyond that, what would be the point of such a curriculum?

    • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/06/2012 - 09:46 pm.

      A history lesson.

      Though you forget your history, Mr. Schoch, some us of Jews out here do not.

      Homosexuals were at the highest echelons at the beginning of the Nazi movement in Weimar Germany. If you really want any objective historic fact concerning the Sturm Abteilung, it can be recounted here for all to see.

      The exploitation of teenaged suicides by the likes of OutFront and the HRC to advance their political and social agendas is so vile it is beyond description.

      • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/07/2012 - 09:09 am.


        I haven’t forgotten any history, Mr. Krasnoff.

        While the exploitation of teen suicides could certainly take place (we’d have to agree on just what constitutes “exploitation”), and there may be organizations that have done so to make a point, I’m still waiting for a credible explanation of just what the “homosexual political and social agenda” might be. So far, all I’ve read about is essentially a plea for tolerance, which used to be a good, old-fashioned American value, and doesn’t strike me as particularly “vile beyond description.” Please, inform us about the details of these agendas.

        And while you’re documenting those agendas, I look forward also to your documentation of the homosexual leadership of the Nazi movement prior to Hitler’s election. My impression has been that Nazi Germany was the prototype for not just “ethnic cleansing,” but for a society unwilling to tolerate any sort of deviance from the orthodox. As a result, homosexuals, or those thought to be homosexual, were shipped off to death camps to join Jews, political liberals, and a host of others with behavior or views or backgrounds that were considered “not normal.” Feel free to correct me, and I’ll be interested in your sources of information, as well.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/07/2012 - 10:36 am.

          All you had to do was ask!

          “I’m still waiting for a credible explanation of just what the “homosexual political and social agenda” might be.”

          The normalization and promotion of homosexuality within all sectors of society.

          • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/07/2012 - 11:06 am.

            And your source is?

            Be specific. “Normalization” and “promotion” are value-loaded terms and not particularly objective. So your source needs to be a bit more specific on what they mean (in the event those are actually the terms being used in said documentation).

            Now as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with the “normalization” aspect of it. It just means that I coexist with folks who may or may not be different from me in all sorts of ways, and as long as it is doing no one harm (and I have yet to see a compelling argument of the “harm” done simply by the existence of homosexuals in our society) then I shouldn’t think of them any differently than I think of anyone else.

            “Promotion”, on the other hand, carries a stronger implication. What comes to mind when the term “promotion” gets bandied about is that old idea that homosexuals will try to “indoctrinate” young people into also becoming homosexuals – as if such a thing was a choice. (And of course, the idea that homosexuality is a “choice” is another one of those erroneous underpinnings of the claims of the “family values” folks who haven’t yet learned that being homosexual is no more a “choice” than is being born with brown hair or blue eyes. But I digress . . . . . ) I suspect those fears of indoctrination are also at the heart of the panic over the Gay/Straight Alliance groups that young people are forming.

            I don’t for a minute believe that “the homosexual community” is engaging in “promotion of homosexuality” with the idea that “promotion” implies “conversion to homosexuality”. So when you claim to have documentation, and you’re claiming that documentation includes “promotion of homosexuality” – then you need to get very specific in what you’re presenting as proof of that claim.

            • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/07/2012 - 03:28 pm.

              One source, comin’ up!


              Stated goals:

              Organize GLBT Employee Network to plan, ADVOCATE, and socialize.

              • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/07/2012 - 04:22 pm.

                That’s some “smoking gun” you’ve got there . . . .


                So your problem is with the word “Advocate”? Seriously?

                If you go back to the Mission Statement on that page, you’ll see that “Out for Equity believes that every student, staff member, and family deserves a safe, supportive school environment that fosters positive self esteem, respect for others, and academic success.” Pretty pernicious stuff!

                Again – Not.

                So you have a problem with an organization that wants to advocate for “a safe, supportive school environment that fosters positive self esteem, respect for others, and academic success”?

                Oh, and in case you’re unfamiliar with the function of an organization’s Mission Statement, it is intended to be the central organizing statement that defines the organization’s purpose and primary objectives. Everything an organization is about traces directly back to its Mission Statement. In this case, an organization which “believes that every student, staff member, and family deserves a safe, supportive school environment that fosters positive self esteem, respect for others, and academic success.”

                I’d hate to see what you think the REALLY bad stuff is . . . . .

                • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/07/2012 - 06:50 pm.

                  Let’s deal with the pernicious.

                  “Out For Equity supports the initiation of Gay/Straight Alliances in our Saint Paul schools…Gay/Straight Alliances help to reduce anti-gay violence, harassment and discrimination by educating the school community about homophobia and by encouraging a greater degree of understanding from students and school personnel…”

                  Definitions are required for “anti-gay violence”, “harassment”, “discrimination”, “educating”, “homophobia”, and an explaination of the concept of “encouraging a greater degree of understanding”.

                  Because the understandings of these words are fluid in the present-day postmodernism, we must ascertain objective, fixed definitions.

    • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/07/2012 - 08:38 pm.


      “I look forward also to your documentation of the homosexual leadership of the Nazi movement prior to Hitler’s election.”

      Gerhard Rossbach
      Edmund Heines
      Ernst Roehm
      Paul Rohrbein
      Karl Ernst
      Reinhard Heydrich

      Now go to the library where you can verify an objective truth. Start with “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” (Shirer), then “Encyclopedia of the Holocaust” (Gutman) and move on from there. The Holocaust one of the most well-documented atrocities on record.

      Though some number of homosexuals were arrested and sent to the camps, it was the Jews who were specifically targeted by the Nazis for extermination and did not have any legal protection under civil law.
      “So far, all I’ve read about is essentially a plea for tolerance..”

      Tolerance and acceptance are two different concepts, two different words, with two different definitions. OutFront, et. al. do not want “tolerance”. They want acceptance and all that goes with it, including the nullification of Jewish and Christian morality.

      You have clearly forgotten history, Mr. Schoch, or perhaps you never knew it in the first place.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/08/2012 - 08:29 am.

        A list of names without the specifics of where you got them…..

        is not documentation.

        Nor is simply giving the titles of books. “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” has 1264 pages. “Encyclopedia of the Holocaust” has 1905. That’s way too much information to ask someone to wade through in search of the one idea you’re intending to support.

        It is your responsibility as the supplier of the documentation in support of your ideas to not simply name names and book titles, but to also either:

        1) Quote the relevant passages in support of the ideas you are putting forth


        2) Provide the page numbers where a person could find the relevant passages in support of the ideas you are putting forth

        Providing documentation requires YOU to do the winnowing down, not the person you are making your case to. You’re the one supporting an idea, you’re the one who has to provide the specific, supported, and relatively succinct information which you believe supports that idea.

        Flooding people with an overwhelming amount of information of which only some may be directly relevant to what you are trying to say only serves to dilute your position, not support it.

        Not to mention the fact that people are just not going to go to that much effort when they may still be questioning the validity of your position in the first place.

        • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/08/2012 - 09:41 am.


          I have provided the names of homosexuals that were in the upper echelon of the Nazi movement before Hitler became leader of Germany. I included source material.

          When arguing with the left or “progressives” at e-Democracy and on the DFL State Central Committee list serve, I have concluded that it does not matter the amount of objective fact or citations of sources in detail that I include, the opposition will either ignore them, refuse to acknowledge their existence, resort to ad hominem attacks, introduce strawman arguments, or refuse to concede the argument in view of factual information and legitimate sources.

          I have given Mr. Schoch the information. You, as well as any other readers of this “discussion”, now have the names and information. You can believe you own eyes when you pick up the books, look at the index, then read. You can then look at other secondary sources, look at the index, then read and believe your own eyes and not wonder whether if it is the objective truth.

          • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/08/2012 - 02:52 pm.


            When someone provides me with adequate documentation, I may choose to:

            1) Say “Oh, I guess you’ve got a point” (as Mr. Swift did recently when presented with a valid cite for an article on two teachers that were found to be harassing students)


            2) Say “I reject the source of your documentation as being unreliable” as I believe you did recently when rejecting a cite because it was Wikipedia


            3) Say “This is interesting. I’ll need some time to read and review it and see how it fits with my previous viewpoint on the subject”


            4) Simply ignore it

            (There may be other choices. These are the ones that come to mind right off the top of my head.)

            These ideas apply whether a person is on the “right” or on the “left”. And I have seen sources either accepted, rejected, pondered or ignored by people on both the right and on the left. You can’t control the reaction to the information you present – you can only do the best job you can to present it in a way that you feel is most likely to support your position.

            But if you fail to provide any meaningful documentation at all, then you have no valid complaint when people call you on it and fail to be persuaded or even to be interested in hearing what you have to say.

            You may wish I’d go out and read your 1000+ page books and find the relevant passages for myself, but the fact of the matter is that your documentation is far more compelling (and likely to be attended to) when you pull out and cite the relevant passages. Because not many other people are going to feel motivated enough to spend that much time in pursuit of (possibly) propping up a position other than their own.

            • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/08/2012 - 09:14 pm.


              “…but the brown-shirted S.A. never became much more than a motley mob of brawlers. Many of its top leaders, beginning with its chief, Roehm, were notorious homosexual perverts. Lieutentant Edmund Heines, who led the Munich S.A., was not only a homosexual but a convicted murderer. These two and dozens of others quarreled and feuded as only men of unnatural sexual inclination, with their peculiar jealousies, can.”

              Shirer, William L., The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 120.

              There’s your page number.

  10. Submitted by Jessie Becker on 03/07/2012 - 12:31 am.

    More than just hand holding…

    There was a lot of bad stuff going on in District 11 and due to the nutrality policy, the teachers were afraid to step in for fear of losing their jobs.

    Take a look at the article below from RollingStone (I’m not sure, but I don’t think they are also part of the gay plot to take over the world.) If the link doesn’t work, just google “one towns war on gay teens”.

  11. Submitted by Tom Clark on 03/08/2012 - 11:53 am.


    Likening gays to Nazis? I guess some people still don’t know what the origin of those pink triangles is.

  12. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/09/2012 - 02:31 pm.

    See above for my counter argument.

    Homosexuals were at the highest levels of the Nazi movement and were not targeted for extinction as were the Jews.

  13. Submitted by William Gleason on 03/09/2012 - 04:43 pm.

    Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

    William L. Shirer’s book has been cited here a few times. It has received some well-deserved – in my opinion – criticism of which readers considering the above discussion should be aware.

    For example:

    William Shirer’s history of the Third Reich ignores the Nazi war against homosexuals and stirs up homophobia.



    Historians ‘ignored gays killed by Nazis’


    As we have all probably heard before, the devil can cite scripture for his own purposes.

  14. Submitted by r batnes on 03/09/2012 - 08:57 pm.

    I have no idea

    where you get your history from, Neal, but homosexuals were most certainly targeted for extinction. Approximately one million German men were threatened for “degeneracy” that threatened the “disciplined masculinity” of Germany. This is well documented in the Holocaust National Museum as well as many other sources.

    • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 03/13/2012 - 07:00 am.

      rejected I have no idea

      where *you* get *your* history from, Mr. Barnes. Among the most well documented facts in modern history, it is objective fact the *primary* targets of the Nazis were the Jews.

      You should be careful where your revisionism takes you.

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