(RightWing.org) – While state officials in the very blue state of California are pressuring local school districts to allow LGBTQ students to choose what bathroom facility they want to use, the red state of Missouri is taking steps to protect parental rights. A perfect case in point is a local board of education that finds itself under fire for attempting to hide its deliberations over a proposed transgender policy.
On September 26, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) issued a press release announcing his decision to file a civil complaint against the Wentzville School District Board of Education for violating the state’s open meetings law (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.020) to conceal its recent closed-door discussion about a proposed policy governing the use of restrooms by transgender students.
🚨Parents have a right to know who is in the bathroom with their kids.
We filed suit against Wentzville School District’s Board of Education for concealing a transgender student bathroom usage policy in direct violation of Missouri’s Open Meetings Law. pic.twitter.com/Wi84bj4Tft
— Attorney General Andrew Bailey (@AGAndrewBailey) September 26, 2023
Also known as the Sunshine Law, the statute requires all public bodies to notify the public of the date, time, location, and agenda of any meeting no later than 24 hours before it’s scheduled to begin. A majority of the quorum of the entity can vote to close a session to the public but must announce the reason for holding it behind closed doors and cannot discuss any other business.
AG Bailey’s 19-page lawsuit alleges that board members “knowingly and purposefully” denied district parents the right to weigh in on its deliberations by holding discussions in an unannounced closed-door meeting. One of the board members allegedly said, “Quite frankly, it isn’t the parents’ business” to know about the district’s pending restroom policy.
Two board members opposed to the secret meeting became whistleblowers and submitted affidavits to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Likewise, more than forty community members filed formal written complaints with the AG.
The Attorney General’s Office is asking the court to declare the defendants violated the state’s open meetings law and award the state unspecified injunctive relief. It is also asking for monetary damages for each violation under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.027.3 and § 610.027.4.
Missourians do not co-parent with the government.
Parents have a right to know what’s going on in their children’s schools.
— Attorney General Andrew Bailey (@AGAndrewBailey) September 27, 2023
Bailey said his office is sending a clear message that Missouri residents don’t “co-parent with the government,” adding that his office will enforce state law and “protect parental rights.”
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