A legal group is calling for an investigation into a Missouri school district, claiming schools violated state and federal law in the process of collecting information from students without parental consent.
The Southeastern Legal Foundation says students in the Webster Grove School District were asked about topics including their mental health, political beliefs and sexual identity without their parents’ permission.
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“We’ve had parents in Webster Grove come to us with these surveys, and they said they did not get consent,” Southeastern Legal Foundation general counsel Kimberly Hermann told “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday.
Hermann explained that federal law “flatly” prohibits schools from asking about race and gender without parental consent.
“If the school wants to ask them, they need to let the parents know that these surveys are happening in advance,” she said. “They need to give parents chances to opt in, or at least at a minimum, opt out.”
She added that taxpayer money is being used to collect the data and bring in progressive curriculums.
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“It teaches racial-based programming. It teaches sexual identity. Things that kids just don’t need to be learning about,” she said. “We need to get back to basics.”
Hermann told host Bill Hemmer her group asked Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt to launch an investigation in order to seek accountability.
Eric Schmitt, Missouri attorney general, speaks during a news conference outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
In a letter to the attorney general, the Southeastern Legal Foundation wrote: “Parents in Webster Grove School District have a well-founded concern that the student surveys administered in their schools violate both state and federal law…”
Hermann said she has not received a response from the school district regarding the accusations. She is confident, however, that Attorney General Schmitt will take up the issue, noting his ability to impose civil penalties if the situation demands.
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“With his track record on parental rights, we have no doubt that he will launch a full investigation,” she said.
Amy Nelson is a producer with Fox News Digital.