STEP teachers accused of gay harassment on leave


by Sue Austreng
Anoka County Union
Coon Rapids, Minn. — The repercussions of alleged sexual harassment in District 11 took a new twist this week when it was revealed that two teachers, who reportedly harassed a student because of the student’s perceived sexuality, are on leave from their jobs.

Social studies teacher Diane Cleveland and law enforcement educator Walter Filson, both of whom teach at Anoka-Hennepin’s Secondary Technical Education Program (STEP), are on leave, according to Mary Olson, the school district’s communications director.

Citing data privacy rules, Olson declined to verify whether the teachers’ current leaves are paid or unpaid, how long they will be on leave or the reason for the leave.

“All I can say is that they are on leave,” Olson said when reached by phone Wednesday morning.

Olson, did however, state that the district is hiring substitute teachers for Cleveland’s and Filson’s classes, which begin at STEP Sept. 8.

According to Olson, those substitute teachers will undergo the regular screening process before taking their places at the head of the class. Full story.

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