Monday, December 10, 2012

Anoka-Hennepin Residents Demand Bryan Lindquist Be Removed From Anti-Bullying Task Force

The Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota is known not so much for its schools, or its teachers or administrators, as it is known for being home to a rash of bullying against LGBTQ youth as well as many suicides of those being taunted for their, real or perceived, differences. 

It's not a pleasant place for LGBTQ youth at all.

Back in October, though, I posted about how a Rolling Stone article about the number of suicides in the lead the Department of Justice to investigate. Afterwards, the DOJ required that the Anoka-Hennepin School District, which had never properly protected its students from harassment, implement a new model policy for supporting LGBTQ students and reducing bullying.

And the district appointed Parents Action League spokesman Bryan Lindquist, who describes homosexuality as a “lifestyle choice” and who promoted ex-gay therapy in the school, as the leader of an anti-bullying task force. [See post HERE]

Yup, a bully will handle bullying.

Bryan Lindquist
Well, not so fast, I guess. This morning a group of Anoka-Hennepin residents submitted a petition to the school board seeking to remove Lindquist from its Anti-Bullying Task Force. The petition, containing some 2400 signatures, claims Bryan Lindquist "uses his personal faith as a weapon and represents the anti-LGBTQ bigotry that is STILL hurting kids in our district."

The Parents Action League [PAL],--one of those oh-so-sweet sounding names that bigots like to call themselves--has criticized the district's work to prevent bullying and harassment. In fact, last January, as the school board worked to settle the lawsuit, Bryan Lindquist and another PAL member presented a list of demands asking that the district commit more resources to "students of faith, moral conviction, ex-homosexuals and ex-transgenders," and demanding ex-gay therapy training for staff. 

More recently, in a letter to the Anoka Union newspaper in support of the amendment to ban same-sex marriage via the state Constitution, Lindquist asserted that children raised by same-sex parents are more likely to be sexually abused at home.

Oh yes, The Gays love the abuse children. Play the Hate Card, Bryan, and then wonder why 2400 people think you have no business on a task force to stop bullying of LGBTQ students.

Tom Heidemann
And while School Board Chairman Tom Heidemann dismissed PAL and Lindquist's demands, as board chair he has the authority to appoint task force members, like Bryan Lindquist. Today, after just two meetings of the task force, whose meetings are closed to the public--apparently so the members in white sheets feel more at home--Heidemann says he's had good reports. He says his idea of culling through 69 task force applications "was to bring together a diverse community, on the basis of protecting all children from bullying and harassment, regardless of the reason. That's something everybody can agree with."

You appoint a man who blames The Gays for everything from pedophilia to global warming and claim that brings diversity to the task force?

Well, Melissa Thompson, parent of a Blaine High School student, isn't buying it; she helped create the online petition at Change.org and has gone to the board in the past to raise concerns that her daughter has been harassed on the basis of religion:
"To imply that Mr. Lindquist lends balance is so disingenuous. His position is very clear, and the effects of that rhetoric are painfully clear in this district. ... This has nothing to do with balance. It has nothing to do with opposing views. It's one thing to have opposing beliefs, but this is about opposing the existence of students."
Some petitioners are hoping the board will lead by example and remove Lindquist from the group, while, of course, PAL President Laurie Thompson says, "The 25 members selected are from a diverse background which was the School Board's intent. Our hope is that everyone on the task force will bring a culmination of ideas to the table that will lend ongoing support to policies and directives that support a safe learning environment for ALL students, not just any one individual or any one group."

But, Laurie, you delusional fool, would you suggest putting a White Supremacist on a task force aimed at preventing bullying of Black students? Is that your idea of diversity?

For his part, Tom Heidemann says he'll listen to the petitioners' concerns, but nothing more: "This isn't going to change. This decision is final. We're going to move on with this committee and let them do their work. ... As far as I'm concerned, we're moving on to looking forward to the recommendations that come out of this process."

They seemed to have learned nothing about bullying whatsoever. How else do you explain having bullies on the task force. And how many more students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District will die before they realize you can't put a bully in charge of fighting bullies?

Tell that to Samantha Johnson, who put a hunting rifle in her mouth and pulled the trigger.
Tell it to Justin Aaberg, right, hanged himself in his bedroom.
Tell it to Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz who carried out a suicide pact because they were being bullied
Tell it to Lance Lundsten, an openly gay student, who took an overdose and later died in hospital.
Tell it to Thomas John 'TJ' Hayes who committed suicide in 2009
Tell it to Jordan Yenor who also killed himself.
Tell it to Aaron Jurek, who killed himself in 2009, the Anoka-Hennepin's third suicide in three months
Tell it to Nick Lockwood,the district's fourth casualty: a boy who had never publicly identified as gay, but was bullied as such.
Tell it to July Barrick who was also bullied for being perceived as gay, and who'd complained to her mother that classmates had started an "I Hate July Barrick" Facebook page

Tell that to any child who suffers bullying on a day-to-day basis. Tell that to any child who comes home after school after another day of being teased, taunted, harraseed, pushed, kicked, hit because they'r egay, or fat or tall or short or have red haior or an accent or a different religion or not the right shoes or wierd hair or a funny name or ....... 

source

8 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

I would personally like to kill every last damn one of those people who bullied me when I was growing up.

this situation sux big time.

BloggerJoe said...

Very well said. I hope someone hears soon.

Wonder Man said...

take him off

the dogs' mother said...

It just boggles my mind. What is so hard about keeping your religious views to yourself. You don't have to change them but you have no business using them to inflict harm on others.

Ms Sparrow said...

You did a better write-up of the situation than the Minneapolis Star Tribune did! I get so tired of the loathsome "God's on my side" types who use that to justify bullying whoever they please. The appalling record of bullying at Anoka is a scandal to our entire country.

Harper's Keeper said...

My skin just crawls when I hear the argument put forth these days by the evangelical right that anti-bullying campaigns are a promotion of a gay agenda. As a gay man I am delighted to think my agenda includes opposition to bullying. Why that isn't part of the Christian agenda too? They'd rather let kids suffer than admit we might have common ground on something?

Jawed Ali said...

Get your own home based job in data entry, copy pasting, clicking and different more jobs
www.jobzcorner.com

Princess said...

It's like putting a cyote in charge of the hen house!