SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt subpoenaed seven school districts on Wednesday, June 8, including the Springfield School District.
The subpoenas required the district to provide information on decisions to employ student surveys that he said ask about students’ sexuality and race, as well as their parent’s income and political beliefs.
“As Attorney General, I’ve made it my mission to work to empower parents and increase transparency in Missouri schools,” Schmitt said in a press release. “Subjecting students to personal, invasive surveys created by third-party consultants potentially without parents’ consent is ridiculous and does nothing to further our children’s education. After learning of these surveys, my Office has opened an investigation and sent subpoenas to seven school districts across the state to get to the bottom of these surveys and put a stop to them.”
Schmitt said in the release that the Missouri Attorney General’s office has received several submissions from parents across Missouri and his office has submitted open records requests to multiple schools in the state.
“I encourage parents to continue to submit objectionable curriculum and policies and practices, as my Office continues to fight for transparency and the right of parents to know exactly what is being taught to their children,” Schmitt said.
The Springfield Public Schools District released a statement in response.
“Public education remains a primary target of our state’s attorney general, as demonstrated by his latest actions today,” the release from SPS spokesperson Stephen Hall said in the release. “Springfield Public Schools will always comply with the law. Unfortunately, school districts across our state are incurring ongoing, significant legal fees to defend against ongoing allegations. Missouri taxpayers are incurring the cost of the attorney general’s actions. These attacks are divisive at a time when we need to unify on behalf of our children.”
Schmitt’s office has recently launched a transparency portal on the MO AG’s website, which they said indexes Sunshine Law requests sent to school districts.