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Associated Press, Published December 18 2010

Minnesota school district says suicides not linked to bullying

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — Officials at the Anoka-Hennepin School District say there's no evidence that any of six teenage suicides this year were linked to bullying.

A number of grieving parents and friends disagree. They say the district needs tougher policies to discourage bullying and discrimination.

Superintendent Dennis Carlson tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune he's not denying that bullying exists. He says there's just no evidence that bullying played a role in the suicides.

He urges anyone with evidence to the contrary to contact school officials.

Tammy Aaberg told the school board last month she believes bullying contributed to her gay son's suicide.

And freshman Jacob Tighe says bullying led to one of his friend's suicides. Tighe adds that he himself has faced anti-gay bullying just because of the way he dresses.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.