Missouri Attorney General attributes violent attack to school district’s policies based on race

After a video of a black female student assaulting a white female student outside of school went viral, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey attributed the incident to the school district’s “race-based policies.”

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, who is running as a Democratic candidate for the 1st District Congressional District, expressed his dismay over the video on X (formerly known as Twitter). He shared the video from the account Libs of TikTok and commented, “This is sickening and so difficult to watch.” However, Bell later deleted his post. He also mentioned that, according to Missouri law, his office does not have jurisdiction over this matter as it falls under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, unless it is certified. He clarified that the decision to certify is not within their control either. Bell expressed his hope for the victim’s full recovery and described the situation as heartbreaking.

Bailey, who is currently vying for his party’s nomination for attorney general, expressed his concerns regarding the lack of law enforcement personnel, specifically student resource officers, present during the assault incident in a letter addressed to the school district. He stated that this absence can be directly attributed to Hazelwood’s emphasis on implementing race-based policies rather than prioritizing the safety of students.

Bailey’s letter contained inaccurate information regarding the date and time of the assault. According to media reports, neither the school district nor the police confirmed the race of the students involved, nor did they indicate whether race played a role in the incident.

Bailey criticized the school district for disregarding Missouri law when it implemented a policy called “State of Solidarity.” This policy states the district’s commitment to speaking out against racism, discrimination, and senseless violence, regardless of factors such as race, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability.

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In Bailey’s letter, she pointed out that the district’s policy was discriminatory as it treated and categorized students differently based on their race.

According to Bailey’s letter, every Missouri resident is guaranteed the right to be free from discrimination and the right to fully enjoy places of public accommodation under the Missouri Human Rights Act. The letter also stated that the Missouri Attorney General’s Office has the authority to enforce the Act in cases where there is reasonable cause to believe a violation has occurred that is of public importance.

In the previous month, Bailey accused four school districts in the St. Louis area of discrimination through letters sent by his office. The Wentzville School District is currently facing a lawsuit filed by Bailey’s office, which claims that the district violated the state’s sunshine law.

During his time as Missouri’s attorney general and while running for the U.S. Senate, Republican Eric Schmitt took legal action against various school districts over their policies on mask-wearing and other medical precautions during the pandemic.

In Hazelwood’s “Statement of Solidarity,” they address the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks and strongly condemn any acts of violence targeting African Americans.

Hazelwood’s policy states that racism is not just a Black issue, but an American issue. Therefore, it is the collective responsibility of everyone to combat the ills of racism.

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