ADF: Minn. school district can reject activist demands to support homosexual behavior

ADF letter rebuts threats made by groups seeking to force pro-homosexual curricula within Anoka County schools
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ADF attorney sound bite (6/28/11):  Jeremy Tedesco 

COON RAPIDS, Minn. — An Alliance Defense Fund letter sent Monday to the Anoka-Hennepin School District says threats against the district for its policy requiring staff to remain neutral on “sexual orientation” instead of openly supporting homosexual behavior “have no basis in law.”

The ADF letter explains that demands made by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights to repeal the policy rely primarily on “appeals to emotion” and that “the district should not be swayed by these unfortunate tactics.”

“School districts should not be bullied into taking the side of homosexual activists,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Parents rightly believe that public schools are a place for education, not sexual indoctrination. The Anoka-Hennepin School District’s policy is entirely appropriate and legally sound.”

SPLC and NCLR sent a letter to the school district last month threatening a federal lawsuit if the district does not repeal the policy, require students and staff to attend training “to prevent bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” and inject “issues related to LGBT people” into the curriculum.

“SPLC and NCLR’s letter plainly misinterprets the District’s Policy, is inaccurate as to the law, and is heavy on hyperbole,” the ADF letter states, adding that the two groups appear to be “more concerned with pushing their agenda than with offering real solutions to the problems of bullying and suicide, which…are faced equally by all students, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

“Indeed, bullying is not unique to students who identify as homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered…,” the ADF letter continues. “Accordingly, anti-bullying policies should broadly prohibit bullying against all students, regardless of the reason for the bullying, while at the same time carefully protecting the free speech rights of all students as well.”

The ADF letter points out that the school district’s neutrality policy does not prohibit the legitimate discussion of issues related to sexual orientation and does not target students who identify as homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered for mistreatment.

The policy states, “Anoka-Hennepin staff, in the course of their professional duties, shall remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation including but not limited to student led discussions. If and when staff address sexual orientation, it is important that staff do so in a respectful manner that is age-appropriate, factual, and pertinent to the relevant curriculum.”
  • Pronunciation guide: Tedesco (Tuh-DESS’-ko)
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.