Teen suicides in Bachmann’s district

Updated
Rep. Michele Bachmann (file)
Rep. Michele Bachmann (file)
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

A story we told you last week has been gaining steam in the blogosphere. There’s a disturbing new trend in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s congressional district.

Nine teens have committed suicide in the past two years in the Anoka-Hennepin school district north of Minneapolis-St. Paul, many of them after being bullied for being homosexual.

Bachmann hasn’t publicly commented on these deaths. And the district itself has a strict “neutrality policy” that instructs school staff “in the course of their professional duties… to remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation.” But the Departments of Justice and Education just launched a federal investigation.

Mother Jones posted a very informative article on the string of suicides that’s worth your time:

State public health officials have labeled the area a “suicide contagion area” because of the unusually high death rate.

Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district—including the high school that she attended.

Bachmann, who began her political career as an education activist, has described gay rights as an “earthquake issue,” and she and her allies have made public schools the front lines of their fight against the “homosexual agenda.” They have opposed efforts in the state to promote tolerance for gays and lesbians in the classroom, seeing such initiatives as a way of allowing gays to recruit impressionable youths into an unhealthy and un-Christian lifestyle.

Tonight at 8pm ET, friend of the show Joel Burns will join us again to discuss this epidemic, and what can be done to stop it. He sparked the “It Gets Better” movement after an eloquent and, at times, teary speech to gay teens, urging them to re-think suicide as an option.

Michele Bachmann

Teen suicides in Bachmann's district

Updated