The Mind of Glenn Gruenhagen (
by Steve Timmer
Apr 9, 2014, 10:30 AM

Let the little children suffer

By bringing them to me

The Republicans in the Minnesota House debate on Tuesday (April 8th) on the Safe and Supportive Schools Act were an odious bacchanal of peudo-religious zealots, misguided constitutional scholars, bigots, and fools. (See the update  below for a brief summary of the zaniness.) They managed to make Roger Chamberlain look smart by comparison.

The cake taker, of course, was Gruesome Glenn Gruenhagen — from Glencoe — who took the floor with personal anecdotes. Take it away, Glenn.

 Spare the rod and spoil the child, sez Glenn. He probably read that somewhere. Gruesome Glenn’s a social studies teacher, too!

Update: “Anecdotally” comments:

Yeah, I think we should base all our legislation on the anecdotes of a self-aware guy like Glenn Gruenhagen. I’m sure the schools he went to were really welcoming and supportive of GLBT students. The sad thing is that they’re probably not much more supportive now than they were in his day.

In my rural hometown, there still aren’t any out-of-the-closet gay people in 2014. The only gay people ever mentioned in the local newspaper are ones who moved away decades ago. Usually, they’re mentioned as survivors in an obituary, and you only know they’re gay because they are mentioned along with their significant other.

French director Louis Malle made a documentary in Glencoe in 1979. He interviewed a local and asked “What if you’re gay in Glencoe?” The response was that you would have to go to “The Cities” to meet someone. Glencoe wasn’t a safe place to be gay. Probably because of people like Glenn Gruenhagen.

This comment illustrates why a statewide anti-bullying statute needs to exist.

Further update:

Neville Chamberlain and Hitler, the First Amendment, bullying clergy; it’s all there; good work, people.

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