Monday night’s meeting (Apr. 24) of the Anoka-Hennepin School Board will once again be the stage for controversy. Supporters of LGBTQ youth plan to testify during the board’s open comment period urging the board to support transgender students. Meanwhile, anti-LGBTQ group, the Minnesota Family Council has launched an email campaign urging the board to reject transgender inclusive policies.

Members of Indivisible North Metro, a progressive advocacy network, are encouraging community members to “demand the district adopt gender inclusive policies immediately, and to show the GLBTQIA+ kids in the district that they are supported and valued,” according to a press release from the group.

At the school board’s March meeting, members of local and national anti-LGBTQ groups that have been labelled “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center appeared before the board to urge the board not to adopt transgender inclusive policies.

The Minnesota Family Council was one of those groups. In an email to supporters on Friday, the anti-LGBTQ group urged anti-LGBTQ activists to email the board, and warned that “LGBT activists” were planning to attend Monday night’s meeting:

Many LGBT activists plan to attend the April Anoka-Hennepin school board meeting. We are not encouraging families in our network to attend en masse, as we believe the majority of pro-privacy attendance and testimony presented onMarch 20th communicated a compassionate pro-privacy position that accurately represents the desires of the vast majority of families in Anoka-Hennepin. Parents want school board members to continue ensuring their children’s privacy, safety and dignity by designating changing rooms, restrooms and showers according to biological sex, while at the same time making compassionate accommodations for students struggling with biological realities by providing them single-user facilities.

While we are not rallying attendance for the upcoming board meeting in April, we are urging individuals and families statewide to support board members’ current pro-privacy practices by emailing them HERE. We’ve created a pre-written email that you can send to the entire A-H board

The email that Anoka-Hennepin School Board members are getting states, in part:

Thank you for taking seriously your responsibility to ensure the privacy, safety and dignity of all of your students by designating changing rooms, restrooms and bathrooms based on biological sex while at the same time making compassionate, single-user accommodations for students struggling with biological realities and for any who feel uncomfortable using private facilities based on biology.

As you know, hundreds of pro-privacy parents and concerned citizens flooded the Anoka-Hennepin public school board meeting on March 20th in support of designating A-H public school locker rooms, restrooms and showers according to biological sex and in opposition to mixed-sex access. The majority of pro-privacy testimony presented on March 20th communicated a compassionate, pro-privacy position that accurately represents the position of the vast majority of families in Anoka-Hennepin and in Minnesota at large.

Because bathrooms, changing rooms and showers are built to meet intimate biological needs, they should be designated based on biological realities. Thank you for applying these designations to everyone in the same way in order to extend the same privacy protections to every student.

Monday’s school board meeting will begin at 6:30pm at the Sandburg Education Center. School board meetings can be livestreamed here.

Here’s the Minnesota Family Council’s full email:

Download (PDF, 4.51MB)

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The email from the hate group states that ‘hundreds’ of people showed up and that a ‘majority of parents’ want segregation. Those are lies as I was at the meeting and there is no way they’ve surveyed ALL parents in our district to know what the majority wants. Many of their group members were older than 60 and NOT even members of this school district or parents of school age kids. I am so fed up with alternate facts from this group!!

  2. People seem to have forgotten, what happened in this school district, five years or so ago. The Anoka, Hennepin School district, was known in the USA as the, “Serial Suicide School District.” They were covered in the Rolling Stone news, as such, and followed by the US Justice department, for five years, which is now over. They are reverting back to their Bigoted ways that created the difficulties. Those that do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

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