“Throughout all of this, Bachmann has remained uncharacteristically quiet. Her office did not respond to a request for comment. But she is on the record opposing anti-bullying legislation. In 2006, Bachmann attended a hearing on an anti-bullying bill in the state legislature and voiced her opinion that bullying was simply a fact of life.
She told state lawmakers: “I think for all us our experience in public schools is there have always been bullies, always have been, always will be. I just don’t know how we’re ever going to get to point of zero tolerance and what does it mean?…What will be our definition of bullying? Will it get to the point where we are completely stifling free speech and expression? Will it mean that what form of behavior will there be—will we be expecting boys to be girls?”
. . .
The anti-gay climate in the schools in Bachmann’s district has been so extreme that it has attracted the attention of the Justice Department and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which are both investigating allegations of anti-gay bullying. The Southern Poverty Law Center has also been on the ground investigating discrimination against gay students. On Thursday, it sued the school district over its “neutrality” policy, which the group views as a potential violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
In a letter to the district superintendent in May, SPLC wrote: The gag policy bears no rational relationship to any legitimate governmental purpose. On the contrary, the history surrounding the policy’s enactment clearly shows that the policy was adopted solely in deference to some community members’ disapproval of, and animus toward, a particular class of citizens—LGBT people. The law is clear that mere animus toward an unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental purpose.”