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Published August 24, 2011, 09:07 AM

Talks in suit over school gay policy 'productive'

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Both sides say they held productive talks toward settling two lawsuits against Minnesota's largest school district challenging its policy requiring staff to remain neutral when sexual orientation is discussed in the classroom.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Both sides say they held productive talks toward settling two lawsuits against Minnesota's largest school district challenging its policy requiring staff to remain neutral when sexual orientation is discussed in the classroom.

The plaintiffs say the policy prevents the Anoka-Hennepin School District from protecting kids perceived as gay from bullying and harassment.

Both sides issued a statement Tuesday night after talks mediated by U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Rau in St. Paul saying they "look forward to future constructive dialogue." They also say they've agreed not to comment further on the settlement process.

No new talks are scheduled.

The lawsuits were filed this summer on behalf of six former and current students by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights after previous settlement efforts failed.

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