Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey called for the resignation or firing of school officials aware of a drag queen breakfast attended by middle schoolers that allegedly went on without parents’ consent.
“I am calling for the resignation and/or termination of any school official who knew that they would be subjecting children to this adult-themed drag show without parental consent,” Bailey wrote in a Monday tweet.
The tweet highlighted an interview where Bailey said all legal options need to “remain on the table.” To restore public trust, he added school officials who knew or had an “affirmative duty” to know about the nature of the drag show should be removed and were either “willfully negligent” or “purposefully concealed” information from parents. Bailey also urged parents to go to the local school board meeting and “register their disgust with the shameful behavior” and demand steps to rectify the issue.
“I’m calling on school boards and superintendents throughout the state to adopt resolution or a public position that drag shows have no place in curriculum in students’ education,” Bailey said. “That needs to happen as well to demonstrate the absurdity of the Columbia Public School (CPS) action and to ensure it doesn’t happen elsewhere in our state.”
Last week, around 30 Columbia middle schoolers attended drag performance hosted by the Nclusion Plus performance group at the annual Columbia Values Diversity Breakfast.
The city’s website said the event “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.”
A parent posted a school permission slip for the event on Facebook, which noted that there would be “songs” and “performances,” but did not mention a drag show.
The school district stated that attendees are “not provided details of the performances in advance of the event” and described the drag show portion of the annual gathering as a “dance and singing performance.” The statement also said there was an “unfortunate amount of misinformation” about the event.
Shortly after the event concluded, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden tweeted that his office had been flooded with emails and calls from parents upset by the event. He revealed that he had called for a meeting with the school superintendent and board members to voice parental concerns.
On Friday, Governor Mike Parsons said he was “deeply concerned” that middle school students had been subjected to “adult performers” during an MLK Day celebration.
That same day, Bailey accused the CPS and Columbia city officials of violating laws that protect kids from explicit material. He also accused Mayor Barbara Buffaloe and the district Superintendent Brian Yearwood of “actively undermining” state laws and “deliberately” subjecting students to an “adult-themed drag show performance.”
Nclusion Plus Marketing Director Brandon Banks said the event was “high-brow and innocent” and pushed back on claims made by parents and State Republicans that the event included sexual content.