The Anoka-Hennepin School District, Minnesota’s largest school district, has placed a gag order on teachers and school employees banning them from discussing any LGBT issues with students during class time or even mentioning the word “gay,” according to the Change.org website. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have threatened lawsuits and are demanding that the district repeal their absurd policy. Change.org has created a petition in support of the repeal.
According to the Change.org article, Anoka-Hennepin has the distinction of having the greatest number of bullying-related suicides in the nation. During this school year, five students in the district killed themselves due to bullying and harassment. Numerous students in the district have reported suffering homophobic harassment and teachers have complained that they cannot reach out to and help their students under the gag rule.
Of course, the notion of banning words is absolutely crazy. Even if you are dumb enough to believe that you could make homosexuality disappear, it’s hard to imagine being dumb enough to believe it could disappear by banning the word or any discussion of it. Yet here we are, again. Numerous districts and states have tried to ban any mention of homosexuality or even the existence of important gay historical figures (see Gay Agenda or Teaching Tolerance. Also see Fundamentalist Nut Tries to Enforce Ignorance in California).