Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey on Wednesday said his office is exploring "all legal options" against middle school officials who took students to a drag show without parental consent, calling the incident "a huge problem."
"State statute in Missouri governs how human sexuality is to be taught by educators, and it doesn't authorize drag shows. There's also a parental notification requirement. So the school district undermined the statutes by taking the kids to the drag show without notifying the parents," Bailey said on Fox News' "Varney & Co."
A group of Columbia middle school students last week saw a drag performance during a field trip to the 2023 Columbia Values Diversity Celebration event.
The event, according to the city's website, "typically features a breakfast, award presentation, artistic celebrations, and keynote addresses. The Celebration is coordinated by the City's Office of Cultural Affairs and enjoys the support of many community volunteers and sponsors."
One parent posted a photo of a school permission slip for the event, which noted that there would be "songs, performances, and a food item."
There was no mention of a drag show.
Columbia Superintendent Brian Yearwood in a letter to Gov. Michael Parson said there was an 'unfortunate amount of misinformation" being shared outside of the community regarding the event and that he "cannot expect to have complete information in advance about what will occur at outside events."
Bailey said school officials could be fired.
"The school's response is really telling, because the superintendent says, Look, the school officials didn't know that the drag show was part of the event, and also that the drag show is not harmful for kids. And it can't be both," Bailey argued. "If it's not harmful, why would they need to know about it?"
"What this is," he continued, "is evidence of a woke, left-wing ideology. And that's why we're going to stand up and fight back, because we're going to make sure that our schools are about education, not indoctrination, and that parents have a say in that process."
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