Missouri Atty Gen. Sues Woke School Board outside St. Louis for Violating Open Meetings Laws when Making Transgender Policies

Wentzville is a small Missouri city of 45,000 people. It’s a fast-growing ‘exurb’ around St. Louis. It hosts an annual “Renaissance Fair” for people in the area. It’s a part of St. Charles County Missouri that went solidly for Trump in both 2016 and 2020.

So locals are asking: why is their school board committed to pushing a pro-transgender agenda throughout its school system?

It turns out that the woke school board decided to push the transgender agenda without following Missouri law, which caught the attention of the Missouri Attorney General who filed suit against the Wentzville school board this week.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey

The Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey alleges in its complaint that the faction of the school board in Wentzville illegally developed and promoted pro-transgender policies by making the policies in secret. The process was not legal, the Attorney General alleges, because the school board improperly following the open meetings law. Specifically, the complaint says they met in secret and developed a plan and strategy to push this hard-left agenda on kids without the public’s knowledge and consent.

The Wentzville, Missouri school board

The three conservatives on the school board are: Jen Olson, David Lewis, Renee Henke. The three leftists on the board are: President Jason Goodson, Katie Lyczak, and Julie Scott. Local activists are hopeful that Shannon Stolle will side with the pro-parents group and ends up as a swing vote but has been inconsistent.

The Attorney General took notice of these legal violations when three conservative board members reached out to notify the state’s chief law enforcement officer that the woke school board was operating unlawfully.

Jen Olson, one of the conservative board members, says this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“As a school board member, they are denying me information I have requested because doing so, I believe, would reveal their abuse of power, misconduct and misuse of taxpayer funds to specifically target and sabotage the three of us who were elected in April,” Olson said.

The original dispute related to secret complaints that were made against all the conservative board members by the woke Superintendent Danielle Tormala.

Superintendent Danielle Tormala

The substance of the complaints were kept from the conservative members but Olson learned that they related to the left-wing Superintendent who claimed to have been ‘retaliated against’, ‘intimidated’ and ‘harassed’ by the thoughts and words of Olson and other conservatives.

These secret complaints against conservatives were then used as justification for keeping further information from the board members, and the woke board threatened the conservative members with sanctions if they continued expressing their views.

The woke board then met in secret to develop a transgender bathroom policy that was a hard-left policy. The original proposal included a provision that prevented parents from finding out when a student requested an ‘accommodation’ to use a different gender than their biological one.

In a statement posted to Facebook, board member Jen Olson said, “I will work diligently to accomplish what the voters sent me here to do. I will not waiver.” In a separate Facebook post, another board member Renee Henke said she wouldn’t hesitate to do what she felt was right.

Here’s a screenshot of the original policy from an administrative source which allowed for teachers to avoid disclosing a child’s choice to pursue a transgender identity with their parents:

The new policy still says boys can still use the girls bathrooms, but the policy had been carefully distributed initially only to administrators but then the new policy was only sent out to parents as a link last Friday. It permits transgenders to use whichever restroom they want on a case-by-case basis. The board, some have said, didn’t want to deal with parents and students who might oppose the new policy and used the secrecy to silence those citizens who wanted to speak against it.

You can read the new policy here

The school board’s attorney, Patrick Brazill, advised them of the proposed transgender bathroom policies and the board approved ratified it in secret. But the woke board initially declined to make a firm written policy, but after some prodding are planning on writing out a more defined policy at their October 19th meeting.

Pro-Family activists say that the Oct. 19th meeting is the critical one for determining the future of the school district.

Administrators with knowledge of the proceedings claim that boards like Wentzville’s are being highly pressured to make these changes to evade anticipated litigation by the well-funded transgender legal movement. Specifically, they say, lawsuits alleging ‘discrimination’ based on bathroom assignments and violations of Title IX, which bars gender discrimination, are the primary legal boogeymen/boogeypersons used by school board attorneys to force these changes over the objections of parents and even many school board members.

There is a pending discrimination lawsuit filed in Kansas City of a student who went out-of-state to change their gender on their birth certificate and then came back to Missouri demanding treatment as his new chosen gender. Another key case being used to browbeat school boards resistant to the transgender agenda is an Ohio case where a student was punished for using the wrong bathroom, and is now suing the school district for $10 million in a discrimination civil case. Both cases are being pushed by the American Civil Liberties Union, “ACLU”.

A district parent with knowledge of the situation told the Gateway Pundit, “What irks me about all this is that the district attorneys clearly don’t want to fight anything. They are always the path of least resistance whether it’s the right thing to do or not. They don’t stand for anything.

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Former writer for Human Events, Morris NorthStar, and The Federalist. 2023 ISI George Washington Statesman Fellow. Featured in the Washington City Paper, Washington Post, New York Times, and Playboy.

You can email Benjamin Wetmore here, and read more of Benjamin Wetmore's articles here.

 

Thanks for sharing!