Parents petition Anoka-Hennepin over anti-bullying board member - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Parents petition Anoka-Hennepin over member of anti-bullying board

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The Anoka-Hennepin School District formed an anti-bullying task force in October as part of a settlement in a federal civil rights lawsuit, but parents are petitioning to have one board member removed.

Concerned parents, like Tammy Aaberg, presented a petition demanding Bryan Lindquist be removed, saying his involvement in the board goes against everything it's supposed to represent.

"It contradicts the purpose of the task force," said Melissa Thompson.

Parents claim Lindquist has called homosexuality a "disorder" and has spoken out against it in the past, so they don't feel he belongs on a task force designed to protect gay and lesbian students from being bullied. That's why Thompson presented a petition containing more than 2,400 names to ask the school district to remove Lindquist from the task force at a Monday night meeting.

Thompson said video of Lindquist urging ex-gay therapy training to district staff in January is evidence, and she said he is also a member of the Parent's Action League, a socially-conservative group labeled that the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group.

"He's part of the problem," said Aaberg, whose son committed suicide after enduring bullying over his sexuality. "It's kind of like putting a Nazi on the anti-Semitism board."

School Board Chair Tom Heidemann said he appointed Lindquist because he wanted a variety of views on the 25-member task force, and that sentiment was shared by some members of the crowd at the meeting.

The school board is not obligated to act, and Lindquist was not at Monday's meeting. FOX 9 News tried to reach out to him for this story, but could not make contact.

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