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School pondering new rules for classroom controversies

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — The Anoka-Hennepin School Board is set to consider on Monday night a replacement for its policies on religion and sexual orientation in the district.

It will be the first reading of a proposed "Controversial Topics Curriculum Policy" that acknowledges the importance of tackling controversial topics in a democracy, and gives some guidelines for how to do it.

The policy says teachers should not advocate for their personal beliefs, and discussions of controversial topics should be age appropriate and free of prejudice.

The district's current policy says teaching about sexual orientation isn't part of the curriculum and such matters are best addressed outside of school. Some teachers say the policy has had a chilling effect on discussions in their classrooms.

A vote on the policy is expected in January.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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