NSBA Legal Clips
Archived entries for Minnesota

ACLU files suit against Minnesota district over two Facebook incidents

According to the Morris Sun Tribune, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) has filed suit against Minnewaska Area School District (MASD) and the Pope County Sheriff’s Office alleging they violated a student’s free speech and privacy rights in two instances related to Facebook.

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Minnesota measure to phase out teacher tenure wins state senate approval

The Minnesota Senate has approved, 36-26, a bill to end the tenure system that protects older teachers and makes newer teachers the “last hired, first fired,” says the Star Tribune.

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Minnesota district abandons policy of teacher neutrality on controversial subjects

According to Associated Press (AP), the Anoka-Hennepin School Board has abandoned a much-criticized policy that required teachers to remain neutral when issues of sexual identity arose in the classroom, replacing it with a policy designed to create respectful discussion about controversial topics. With only one dissenting vote, the school board dropped a policy that is the subject of two lawsuits by critics who contend it muzzled teachers and prevented them from holding effective discussions to reduce bullying against students who are gay or perceived to be gay.

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Minnesota district plans to revise its controversial topics policy

The Anoka-Hennepin School District (AHSD) plans to rework a proposed policy on controversial topics that came under criticism, according to an Associated Press (AP) article in Education Week.

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Teachers oppose Minnesota district’s controversial topics policy

According to the Crookston Daily Times, the Anoka-Hennepin School District’s (AHSD) teachers’ union is urging AHSD’s school board to drop a proposed policy on handling controversial topics in the classroom, saying educators should be trusted to mediate student discussions about sexual orientation and other issues. The board proposed the change to replace a current policy that requires teachers to remain neutral when the topic of human sexuality comes up during class.

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Federal district court rules African-American student has valid Title VI racial dicrimination claim against Minnesota district based on hostile environment

A Minnesota federal district court has ruled that an African-American student has stated a valid a Title VI claim for a racially hostile environment against the school district, but not the superintendent in his individual capacity. The court rejected the student’s Section 1983 equal protection claim on the ground that it was too vague to provide the defendants with sufficient notice of the alleged unconstitutional conduct.

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Minnesota district’s proposed revision of controversial topics policy that would allow more open discussion of sexual orientation draws criticism

According to the Crookston Times, Anoka-Hennepin School District (AHSD), which is the target of a suit alleging that its policy limiting discussion of sexual orientation in the classroom led to the bullying of gay students, has proposed a policy revision recognizing the need to discuss openly controversial topics. The proposed policy has been attacked by both sides.

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Escalating online student feud leads to suspensions at Minnesota high school

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that ten Coon Rapids High School students have been suspended after a volley of harassing comments and threats on Facebook, the latest in a string of incidents that have jolted the Anoka-Hennepin School District over the past two years. The online dispute, which involved students posting invective and obscenity-laced insults, escalated into a shouting match on a stairway at the school before teachers intervened.

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Minnesota federal district court upholds school district’s restrictions on outside religious group’s access to after school program

A federal district court in Minnesota has denied an outside religious organization’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would require a school district to grant it the additional benefits provided to participants in the after school program. A federal district court in Minnesota has denied an outside religious organization’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would require a school district to grant it the additional benefits provided to participants in the after school program. The court determined that the school district had created a limited designated public forum when it set up its after school program, which allowed it to restrict access to the forum provided the restrictions were reasonable and viewpoint neutral. The court also found it “likely that the District could demonstrate that [the organization’s] participation in the After-School Program violates the Establishment Clause.”

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Embattled Minnesota charter school throws in towel in fight over closure

According to the Westport News, the board of Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, a charter school that has fought claims that it improperly promoted religion, has voted to end its legal battle to overturn the decision by the Minnesota Department Education (MDE) to close the school.

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