Teachers accused of ridiculing “gay” student now on leave

By Nancy Ngo
St. Paul Pioneer Press
The two Anoka-Hennepin school district teachers accused of making disparaging remarks about a student’s perceived sexuality will not be in the classroom when classes resume Tuesday.

The school’s notice about the teachers — Diane Cleveland and Walter Filson — came the same day a citizens group urged students to boycott their classes. The group had earlier asked the district to fire the teachers.

School board chairman Tom Heidemann wouldn’t elaborate about why the teachers would not start the school year Tuesday.

Filson could not be reached for comment, but Cleveland’s attorney Phil Villaume said she has taken an unpaid, voluntary leave of absence. Her decision was made within the past week.

“She’s not going to return until this matter is resolved,” Villaume said. However, “she has no intent of resigning.”

Cleveland is a social studies teacher. Filson is a law enforcement instructor. Full story.

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