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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt subpoenaed seven school districts Wednesday for information on surveys given to students, and also launched a portal which gives the public access to “objectionable teacher trainings and assignments” uncovered through parent submissions and open records requests.
According to Schmitt, the seven school districts his office subpoenaed sent surveys to students, some without parental consent, and which included questions about their parents’ income, political beliefs, as well as questions about the student’s sexuality, and “racially motivated leading questions.”
“As Attorney General, I’ve made it my mission to work to empower parents and increase transparency in Missouri schools,” Schmitt said in a statement. “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.”
As part of the Students First initiative introduced by Schmitt in March, the attorney general’s office also launched a transparency portal to compile parent’s submissions and open records requests sent to school districts.
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The Students First initiative, launched by Schmitt in March, is designed to “increase transparency in Missouri’s schools” and “ensure a quality education for Missouri’s children by uncovering and eliminating curriculum and policies and practices that prioritize politics in the classroom instead of student education and success.”
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As part of the initiative, the attorney general’s office requested parents submit information about “objectionable curriculum like Critical Race Theory, teacher training materials, school initiatives and speakers, administrative overreach, and other issues and practices that don’t prioritize student education in their children’s schools.”
The portal, which was made public Wednesday, included classroom assignments, trainings and activities submitted by parents across the state.
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One parent said their son was “made to do a privilege walk” where students would step forward or backward depending on how they answered a series of questions. For example, students would step forward if a parent had graduated from college, or backward if they had ever “been called names regarding your race, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, or physical/learning disability and felt uncomfortable.”
Another reading assignment showed students being instructed to analyze a reading through a “feminist lens” or a “Marxist lens.”
“Through our Students First Initiative, we’ve received submissions from parents across Missouri, and in an effort to increase transparency in our schools, my office has sent open records requests to a number of schools across the state,” Schmitt continued. “Parents are encouraged to browse our new transparency portal and see the documents and information that districts have provided our office.”