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Missouri AG pushes resolution that bans drag shows in schools

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is demanding his state’s schools adopt a new resolution that bans educators from exposing children to drag queen shows.

“For me, it’s about protecting the children, defending our children’s innocence and making sure that parents have a say in that process,” Bailey, R., told news outlets.

In a letter sent to the Missouri School Board Association (MSBA), Bailey urged members to adopt a new model resolution pledging to uphold a Missouri statute on human sexuality instruction in schools. The resolution revolved around the General Assembly’s crafting of Section 170.015 on how to “govern the content of human sexuality education in Missouri schools.” The statute, among other things, states that all instruction on human sexuality must be “appropriate to the age of the students” receiving the education.

The state explicitly states that parents must be informed and notified of the “basic content” of the instruction provided to the student.

Bailey said the drafted model resolution comports with the state statute and would act as a pledge by school boards not to take school-aged children to drag shows.

He also urged parents to visit the Attorney General’s office website, download the resolution form, take it to their local school board meeting, and ask them to adopt the resolution to ensure compliance and prevent kids from being exposed to “shameful behavior.”

“You can’t get around state statutes by cloaking it in this blanket term diversity,” he said.

Bailey asserted the resolution is simply a public acknowledgment that drag shows are not a proper school curriculum and a declaration that drag shows are inherently sexual.

He added that drag shows are an outward expression of an inward desired sexuality and therefore must be kept away from young children.

Furthermore, parents must be made aware of any events, including drag shows.

“Where the rubber hits the road on this issue is really the debate over whether drag shows have a place in education. And so, the left would tell you ‘look as long as it’s G-rated it’s not a big deal.’ So, they want to quibble about how many articles of clothing the drag queens do or do not have on, but that misses the point,” Bailey said.

He added that school should be about “education, not indoctrination.” Citing the recent gubernatorial election in Virginia, Bailey said the outcome has shown that when parents are empowered to be involved in their children’s education, they can make a real difference. Republican Glenn Youngkin rode a platform geared toward Virginia parents to a narrow win over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in 2021.

Bailey also pointed to GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent educational victory, wherein The College Board updated its curriculum for an AP African American studies course criticized by state legislators.

The course cut much of the content associated with Black Lives Matter and other controversial issues that prompted the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to reject it from being taught in Florida schools.

“DeSantis’ administration also has spoken out on drag shows and investigated a Christmas drag event that allegedly exposed children to “sexualized acts” in December.

“The left wants to push this woke ideology on children without parents knowing about it. Because they understand that if things like Virginia and Florida happen and parents get involved, it shuts down this indoctrination program,” Bailey said.

The concern from the Missouri attorney general on the topic of drag shows began in January when around 30 Columbia middle-schoolers attended a drag performance hosted by the Nclusion Plus performance group at the annual Columbia Values Diversity Breakfast.

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.

Bailey accused Columbia Public Schools (CPS) and city officials of violating laws that protect kids from explicit material. He also accused Mayor Barbara Buffaloe and district Superintendent Brian Yearwood of “actively undermining” state laws and deliberately subjecting students to an “adult-themed drag show performance.”

To restore public trust, Bailey later said 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.

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.

Bailey said the school district message was “internally inconsistent” and “problematic.” He also asserted the school is more interested in a “radical left-wing indoctrination program” than the education of the schools.

Bailey said the new resolution is just one piece of the puzzle to help parents and said he would work with the General Assembly to ensure gaps or loopholes in current statutes are closed.

When asked about current moves to curb sexual content in the classroom, Bailey said he is a proponent of an “all hands on deck, all options on the table approach.”

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