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OPINION

Minnesota school board ends policy blamed for bullying

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COON RAPIDS, Minn. – Minnesota's largest school district has a new policy governing how teachers should treat controversial subjects that come up in the classroom.

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The Anoka-Hennepin School board adopted Monday night a "Respectful Learning Environment" policy, which replaces guidelines that required teachers remain neutral on issues of sexual identity but which was criticized as helping to create an atmosphere where gay students were bullied.

More than 20 people spoke during a hearing Monday night -- including students, parents and advocates on both sides -- before the board adopted the policy with only one dissenting vote.

The old policy is the subject of two lawsuits and received national attention after the suicides of six students in the district in less than two years.

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