Missouri’s top lawman has faced off against a school district that brought a group of middle schoolers to see a drag show -- and he’s not going to blink.
State Attorney General Andrew Bailey maintains his office’s stance that it plans to pursue “all legal options” against Columbia Public Schools, which he says ran afoul of state statutes on sexuality education by bringing roughly 30 students to a "values diversity" breakfast where they saw a drag performance, according to Fox Business.
“Drag shows are inherently sexualized performances. They are an outward expression of a desired sexuality and sexual identity. They are intended to draw attention to human sexuality in a manner that appeals to prurient interests. Drag shows have no educational value and have no place in our public schools,” Bailey said in remarks issued by his office on Tuesday.
He also called on the Missouri School Board Association to take steps to ensure state law was upheld.
“I want Missouri to be the safest state in the nation for children, which includes preventing school officials from taking schoolchildren to drag shows,” he said in the statement. “That’s why I am asking the Missouri School Board Association to call on their members to adopt a resolution pledging to uphold Missouri law on what can be taught regarding human sexuality in schools. My office will use every tool at our disposal to ensure Missouri children are educated, not indoctrinated, and that parents have a say in the process.”
Bailey also explained to Fox Business host Stuart Varney this week that the school district failed to notify parents about the drag performance ahead of time.
"State statute in Missouri governs how human sexuality is to be taught by educators, and it doesn't authorize drag shows,” he said. “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."
According to KOMU-TV, parents posted to a local Facebook group that they had not been told their children would be seeing a drag show and the district apologized for parents for not disclosing this fact.
In a mealy-mouthed letter, however, Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Brian Yearwood wrote, "For some, the [event] demonstrated the importance of inclusion. For others, expectations were not met, specifically regarding the level of communication provided to parents.”
“Either way, it has created frustration for many. I want to apologize to parents and our community for that frustration. As a district, we continually strive to meet the expectations of our parents and community. When we do not meet those expectations, I apologize."
However, in a letter to Gov. Mike Parson, who also voiced his concerns over the problematic field trip, Yearwood claimed the show was completely innocent and vehemently denied that it represented sexuality education.
"Any characterization of the 'Columbia Values Diversity' Breakfast as 'child endangerment' or having a 'sexual nature' or violating state law is categorically false," Yearwood wrote, according to KCUR-FM. "Although CPS was unaware what the performance by NClusion+ would entail, their program was not an 'adult' performance. This type of misrepresentation is harmful to our students, our staff, and our community."
As Bailey noted during his interview with Varney, the superintendent seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth.
"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," he said. "If it's not harmful, why would they need to know about it?"
Look, the tell here starts long before the drag show, if we’re going to be honest about it.
Just think about it. Can anyone really be expected to believe that an event called the “Columbia Values Diversity Breakfast” was not going to be loaded with controversial ideas, at the very least?
What would school officials say to the idea of taking children to the Columbia Christian Nationalism Breakfast, for example? That's just as rife with the open indication of a very specific ideology as "values diversity" is, but many wouldn't recognize it.
For too long, radical ideology has been smuggled into the very core of our national values and understanding, and its adherents are hoping we don’t notice that the idea of “values diversity” is a glaring indication of its presence.
This is how graphic, vehemently anti-traditional values sex education has managed to gain a substantial foothold within American schools, as well as ideology within the critical theory framework that gets passed off under the nice-sounding banner of “diversity and inclusion.”
It’s about time that we stopped falling for the euphemisms and started drawing these important lines in the sand.
As Bailey articulated perfectly, drag constitutes a supportive message about sexuality and identity that runs contrary to the basic ethics of Western society up until just a few short decades ago.
An art form that celebrates and fetishizes cross-dressing is inherently sexual, and its proponents don’t even shy away from this fact as they point to drag as a means through which to educate children about “inclusion” and “values diversity.”
No matter how you look at it, teaching children about drag deliberately conditions them to accept certain views on sexuality that their moms and dads might strongly disagree with and have a right to prevent from happening on the basis of their inherent rights as parents.
As long as this subversive form of subtle yet radical indoctrination continues to flourish in American pop culture and public schools, parents, lawmakers, and public officials need to work to make sure that we might once again have a country where some things -- like a child’s innocence and the right and duty of a parent to instill their children with sound values without the intrusion of government -- are sacred.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.