Anoka-Hennepin Anti-Bullying Task Force Meeting Closed to Public

Updated: 10/26/2012 7:56 AM KSTP.com By: Nick Winkler

THe Anoka-Hennepin school district says the public isn't welcome to the meeting so that task force members can get to know one another privately.

The 25-person task force, which will recommend how the school board can reduce bullying, was created after the recently settled lawsuit that changed the district's policy regarding sexual orientation.

The agenda for the meeting suggests privacy is a concern. One of the ground rules is that participants are not allowed to share stories from the meeting without permission from the storyteller.

Attorneys say the district can legally close the meeting to the public despite the meeting being held in a public building. Attorneys say since the task force is only charged with making recommendations rather than policy, it is exempt from open meeting laws.

Still, at least one task force member says the meeting should be open. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Beddoe, a senior at Andover High, says the public has a right to see the task force at work.

The district says notes will be taken at the meeting and released at next month's meeting.  At November's meeting, the task force will determine whether any future meetings will be open to the public.