Take Action to Protect Missouri Students

Take Action to Protect Missouri Students

sB 681 & SB 662 (2022) by Senators cindy o'laughlin (R) & Lauren Arthur (d)

SB 681 & SB 662 were combined to create an education omnibus bill in the 2022 legislative session.  It's what we call a "Christmas Tree Bill" because there are several different sections of Missouri statute addressed.  It was a large bill that ended up being 166 pages long, repealed 30 sections and added 50 brand new sections of statutes.  It was all pertaining to elementary and secondary education.  This was the brainchild of Senator Cindy O'Laughlin, republican from northern Missouri (Majority Floor Leader in 2023) and Senator Lauren Arthur, democrat from Clay County (KC area).

It contained everything from testing kids for lead poisoning to creating additional pathways for high school graduation to changing the state learning standards and MANDATING mental health training for high school students.

The latter is what we are going to be talking about today.  

Here's the statute created by SB 681 & SB 662:

the result of rsmo 170.307 is ADDED social emotional learning standards

Based on this new statute, on Tuesday, August 15th, the Missouri State Board of Education approved a rule change to add Social Emotional Learning (SEL) standards for K-12 mental health training.

It's ALWAYS a problem when we see in statute that our legislators are abdicating their authority to the unelected bureaucrats with NO way of knowing what the outcome will be.   The overreach of bureaucrats into every part of society is a primary reason government has grown to the extent it has, and it's a huge problem in our education system.

This should be a primary concern to conservatives, especially Christian conservatives across Missouri.  Promulgated rules are nearly always written to expand progressive government in one way or another.

what is SEL?

Social Emotional Learning is a broad umbrella term that encompasses several things, but the term is pretty self explanatory.  In a nutshell, it's the teaching or training of students in regard to social and/or emotional issues.  

This is the proposed rule change:

SEL can include, but is not limited to:
  • any mental health related topic such as depression, suicide, anxiety, etc.
  • communication skills
  • motivational skills
  • racial & social justice issues
  • diversity & equity
  • civic engagement
  • affirming LGBTQIA+ student behavior
  • giving students a "safe" private space with counselors without parental knowledge or consent
  • comprehensive sex education
  • SEL related student surveys that collect student data related to their beliefs 
SEL learning objectives will most likely come through health or PE class by way of the school counselors, who are NOT trained psychologists.  Honestly, I don't prefer my own student to have ANY mental health instruction at school - SEL or otherwise.  

These new standards will most likely be largely driven by the American School Counselor's Association and organizations such as CASEL and American Federation for Teachers (AFT).  These organizations are the opposite of conservative.  POLAR opposite.

It doesn't take much to see why it would be a problem for these large progressive organizations and bureaucrats to be running the show in relation to social and emotional learning.

vague standards & local control

The standards are vague.  When you read them, there is no clear danger if you aren't familiar with specific terminology or the bigger picture of SEL.  Of course we want our children to be empathetic, good problem solvers and happy, productive kids.  

Isn't that what this is about??  

Well, for some districts and teachers - yes.   But for others and maybe most at this point because of the American School Counselors Association - there is a bigger agenda involved.   

A marxist agenda.  An agenda that divides our kids, pits them against one another and destroys the fabric of patriotic Christian family values all unbeknownst to parents while our kids are in school.

The standards DO allow for individual districts & teachers to adopt their own curriculum and lesson plans as they pertain to these specific standards.  It IS possible that your school and your student would not be exposed to the progressive woke agenda.  This is why if you ask your administration or school board member, they'll likely tell you that the standard doesn't really matter and that the local school controls the curriculum.  That is true.  

But here are a few of the problems:

How will you know what your student's teacher is saying or teaching regarding SEL??  You won't.  Most likely, you won't even know the questions to ask your student or when to ask them.  

How will you know if your student is talking to your school counselor about LGBTQ, sexual identity, gender identity or even suicide?  You won't.  They are not required to disclose.  They are "safe" spaces for students and your students have privacy privileges there.  You will know NOTHING if the school counselor doesn't want you to know. The School Counselor's Association wants it this way and they are lobbying legislators to keep it this way.

Do you want your school counselor, PE teacher or health teacher or any teacher - none of whom are trained psychologists - to be teaching mental health topics to your students anyway?  I don't.  

Do you want your student to be surveyed without your knowledge?   I don't.

Do you want your school district to be forced to do MORE teaching that is NOT core classes?  I don't. Our schools have more than enough requirements forced onto them by DESE as it is.  

Are you familiar with the American School Counselor's Association and what they are pushing into your school counselors offices?  Probably not.  There are a few resources below & I'll continue to talk about it here.

what can you do?

  1. Submit public comment to DESE, via survey below, rejecting SEL standards being MANDATED to our schools.   You can simply enter "I reject all SEL standards, definitions, and implementation in any format, whether recommended or mandated, in Missouri public schools" in the appropriate text boxes.

2. Share this blog with your like-minded family & friends!

3.  Use the resources below to learn a little more and be sure to subscribe to the blog!


Please spend some time learning about SEL if you aren't already aware.  

 - Pay attention to her language in the video above. She want's school transformation - bringing joy & justice to schools by bringing together SEL, restorative practices & racial equity.  They have a NEW definition of SEL.  "Culturally affirmative SEL". Race conscious, justice oriented & everything that happens in a classroom cannot be neutral.  

Final Thoughts on SB 4 - The "Parent's Rights" Bill

Final Thoughts on SB 4 - The "Parent's Rights" Bill

If you're reading this in an email and the videos at the bottom don't come through, read it online.  

This is the first in a series of blogs relating to public education and the legislation that is moving through our capitol this session.  It's a HUGE topic and I'm doing my best to break it down for you but it's still a lot of information.  

It's so important, so please do come back to re-read, absorb and ponder.  Then, go talk with trusted friends and resources.  Do your own due diligence and develop your own perspective.   Our kids & grandkids need you to take the time and get involved.

Sb 4

Parent's Rights.  Transparency.   

This is what Senator Koenig & GOP leadership know you want.  So they gave it to you.  

But did they?  You decide.

I'm not an attorney.  But I did hear the opinions of three unrelated, unbiased attorneys whose expertise is in this field throughout this process.  Those who have differing opinions from mine heard from attorneys, too.  They were primarily senate attorneys and attorneys that are Missouri senators.  There are legal opinions on both sides of this issue.

On my couch with a laptop perched on my lap, I spent hours reading this bill.  Re-reading, referencing U.S. codes & current Missouri statutes.  I made phone calls, sent and received questions via text and consulted legislators as well as educators and heard opinions of attorneys.  Although not an attorney myself, I can tell you I invested many many hours of study and consulted several others.

the good.

What it does do that I'm happy about...

  • Restricts the gathering of biometric data on your student.  Currently, there are no restrictions whatsoever.  Now it is limited to information on their school ID card that can be gathered and stored.  
  • Requirement to train teachers in patriotic history & civics.
  • School accountability report cards for the previous 5 years will be available on the school's website as well as on hand at each individual "attendance center."
  • Parents will receive a printed version of the report card within 5 days of the start of school or enrollment.  These report cards will have a lot of data including school finances, student-teacher/admin ratios, attendance rates, graduation rates, etc.    The report cards have a plethora of information on them.  Too much to type here and even too much for one screen shot but here's a glance.  The report cards are great information for prospective families or anyone considering moving into a district.  

  • Requires schools to protect student devices from explicit materials and inappropriate sites.  I honestly think most are already doing this but codifying it is good. 

the bad

I already blogged about why I don't like SB 4.  Check it out!

the vote.

I believe the vote on SB 4 should've been a no.  Truthfully, I believe we are all a lot better off when these legislators are at home vs being in Jefferson City.   Our liberties are much safer when they are not at the Capitol.

Senators Moon & Carter are the only Republicans who stood against the grain of GOP leadership & voted no.  They voted on their principles regardless of what the others were doing.  I like that.  We need more who are willing to do that.

the real problem

Senator Andrew Koenig put ALL of us in a really tough spot when he pulled a Pelosi-style maneuver and closed debate on the floor hours earlier than what was expected.  

Picture This.

Everyone had been told there would be a filibuster lasting into the night.  They got their sleep schedules worked out and made plans for someone to bring food in later on for dinner, settling in for their first long night of the session.

The democrats were bantering back and forth holding the floor while our favorite republicans huddled in the back discussing what might be the best options to move forward.  They ALL had concerns and they were prepared to work on improving the bill to create something that they could all be proud of. 

Suddenly...what did they hear?  Nothing but Senator Koenig closing the debate!  The democrats suddenly sat down and Senator Koenig CLOSED, which gave the rest of his team basically ZERO time to make any changes at all.  The perfection vote is a voice vote - so it passed and that was the end.  After perfection, bills are generally not changed any further.  They are considered perfect and the next step is a TRAP (Third Read and Pass) vote before it goes to the House.

Our favorite senators had no time.  They were completely caught off guard and they weren't even given time to read the bill.  

Heard of anyone doing that before?  Hmm...yeah.  Pelosi.   

That led to most of our conservatives being between a rock & a hard place on this vote.  

the senators say

Most of our senators truly were between a rock & a hard place on this vote.  They didn't agree with the perfected version, but they did agree with the heart and intent of the bill as well as particular pieces they believed to be more beneficial than the negatives were harmful.  They did agree that there were things about the bill they liked and also things they were and still are concerned about.  

What I know of this group of senators is that they are nearly always with us and they typically always vote conservatively. They are our team.  They are our team now and they are our team in the battles we will fight in the future.

We aren't always going to agree, though, and that's ok too.  If we can agree 80-90% of the time - I'm happy and I think you should be, too.  

I got Senators Eigel & Moon on video for you & I personally talked to Senators Hoskins, Brattin, Carter and Brown.  Here's what they had to say.

Senator Denny Hoskins did appreciate parts of the bill although he does have concerns about the copyright language and the "CRT" portion.  He is committed, though, to working alongside the handler of the bill in the House in hopes of continuing to improve it to the point that we can all be more content.  

Senator Rick Brattin shares very similar sentiments as Senator Hoskins.  He was actually the original sponsor of SB 42 which was combined with SB 4 and 89.  His original bill included language that would require schools to teach patriotic content such as the founding documents, history of civic engagement, excerpts from de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, and an entire list of other patriotic civics topics.  That language stayed in the bill and Brattin is very passionate about trying to ensure that our kids are learning what I would consider to be classical American history, civics and a sense of pride in America.  He is concerned that the CRT language needs to be improved and he's also hoping to be able to continue to work to create something better as the bill moves forward.  

Senator Ben Brown was the original sponsor of SB 89.  Some of his language also stayed with the bill and he felt that although there were concerns about the bill, it was still a net win.  He's happy with the biometric data piece as well as the transparency language.  One concern we both share is the ability of DESE to create so many rules around this.  He says he feels responsible to continue to monitor the progress of this bill, help with the improvements as he can and keep a watchful eye on JACOR, which is the committee that approves the rules DESE will write.

Senator Carter hated to vote no, but she saw too many concerns to feel good about voting yes.  She voted her conscience and I love that about her.  It was a hard hard decision to make and I'm proud of her for sticking to her principles.

my team.  we win together.  we Lose together.

TRUTH:  I hate this bill.  I see so many holes & flaws it feels more harmful than good to me.

TRUTH:  Senator Koenig threw us all under the bus in the perfection process.  That stinks.  That's the 2nd time this session.  I'm really disappointed and very sad about it. 

TRUTH:  Our conservative team was between a rock and a hard place feeling like people would be screaming at them for voting down a Parent's Rights & transparency bill if they voted no and they'd upset others if they voted yes.  Everyone weighed the vote in their own heart & mind and they made the decision that felt best.  I can respect that.  

TRUTH:  This is one vote of the 10-20% that we won't agree on.  It's to be expected.

TRUTH:  I know these senators.  Their hearts and intentions are good & we all want the same thing.  They were each willing to sit down today and talk with me personally and that's worth more than one vote.  It's pretty priceless.

TRUTH:  These guys are my team.  These are the ones I want to go to battle with when it's necessary.  And it will be very soon.  I'm going to trust them and support them in the hard decisions they are forced to make even when I wish it was different.  I hope you will, too.  That said... if they continually show themselves to be untrustworthy or not who they profess to be  - then they'll have to find another bench to sit on.

TRUTH:  IF the House changes even one thing, even as much as a punctuation mark, the senate will be able to take it up again, debate and make amendments if they want.   It's not a done deal yet.

call to action

Always.  Respectfully, let them know what you think.  If you'd like to see them vote differently then tell them.  If you're not willing to do that- don't complain.   I hope you'll take the time to send an email or make a phone call to these senators, your own or the rest of them.  When more of us start speaking up, the more likely we are going to be to see real change not only in the a bill here or there, but in the process of how these things are accomplished.  And THAT is the real win.

Legislative Overview for The Week Ahead (2/13/23)

Legislative Overview for The Week Ahead (2/13/23)

Apologies for my late publication of my focus for the week.  I'm blaming the Super Bowl.  I hope you were celebrating the BIG WIN, as well and enjoying the break for the crazy world of Missouri politics for a few hours.  

YAY for the WIN... now back to reality.

monday, feb 13th

mo senate hearings

1:00 pm in Senate Committee Room 2

There are several bills being heard on the topic of Initiative Petitions and constitutional amendments.  

I'm most familiar with Senator Carter's SJR 28 which includes language that would require a concurrent majority in order to pass amendments to the Missouri Constitution.  This means when we have a ballot measure and there is a potential change to the MO Constitution a majority of MO House districts would be required to vote in favor of an amendment IN ADDITION to having the majority of the popular vote.   The result of concurrent majority requirement is that the rural areas of Missouri would be represented vs the urban areas alone determining the changes to our constitution.

This issue is VERY important.  We expect there will be an abortion related amendment on the ballot in 2024.  We want ALL Missourians' voiced to count. 

There may be other good bills being presented in the hearing as well.  I'll do my best to share what I learn.


Request a YES vote from the committee members.

Senator Elaine Gannon, Chair  - 573.751.4008
Senator Sandy Crawford, Vice Chair - 573.751.8793
Senator Jill Carter -  573.751.2173
Senator Mary Elizabeth Coleman - 573.751.1492
Senator Andrew Koenig - 573.751.5568
Senator John Rizzo - 573.751.3074
Senator Barbara Washington - 573.751.3158

Email Addresses (copy & paste):


Subject: Parent's Rights & Transparency
This bill is perfected and will come before the body of the senate for a yes/no vote.

1.   Call  & email your Senator and let them know what your concerns are with this bill.  Ask for a no vote.  Senator Eigel has a better option!  Nothing at all is better than this.  Legislator Lookup Tool

2.  Copy the link to this post & send it to a conservative friend!


Subject:  Medicaid Expansion.  Covers care for 12 months after pregnancy.
My Opinion:  Yes IF they amend the bill to prohibit funds for post-abortion care.

1.   Call  & email your Senator and let them know what your concerns are with this bill.  Ask for language that would prohibit post abortion care.  Legislator Lookup Tool

2.  Copy the link to this post & send it to a conservative friend!

tuesday, february 14


8:15 in the Senate Lounge

Subject: Modifies provisions relating to workforce development in ELEMENTARY and secondary schools.
My Opinion:  NO.  You very well may disagree with my position.  I DO believe our kids need to be proactive and have a plan for their futures.  It's smart.  It's wise.  As a mom, I help my kids think through their options after high school.  That said, although I do believe it's wise, I do NOT believe it should be mandated by the State government.  My 14 year old 8th grader does NOT need to be worried about choosing a career or where he's going to college.  He needs to learn to love learning.  He needs to learn to love exploring and experiencing new things.  He needs to be a kid.  I even believe that's true of my 12th grader.   Wise?  Absolutely.  But mandated?  NO. NO. NO.    

Contact committee members to express your views.  I'll be asking for a NO vote.
Andrew Koenig, Chair  573.751.5568
Rick Brattin, Vice-Chair. 573.751.2108
Lauren Arthur. 573.751.5282
Doug Beck. 573.751.0220
Elaine Gannon. 573.751.4008
Denny Hoskins.  573.751.4302
Greg Razer.  573.751.6607
Nick Schroer. 573.751.1282
Curtis Trent. 573.751.1503

10:00 am in Senate Committee Room 1

SB 49- Senator Mike Moon
SB  164 - Senator Jill Carter
SB 236 - Senator Denny Hoskins

SUBJECT:  These 3 bills ban puberty blockers and gender transition surgery for children under the age of 18.  

All three of these bills are great.  They are written to protect our kids from the abuse of the left wing agenda that is targeting kids.

1.  Pray!!  Last week, a whistleblower released the truth about the gender clinic that has been operating at St Louis Children's Hospital in partnership with Washington University.  It has gotten the attention of our Attorney General and even national news outlets.  I suspect the response to Tuesday's committee hearing will be larger than anything we've seen with the trans hearings thus far.  Please pray for calm, safety and for God's will to be done.  Pray for Senators Moon, Carter & Hoskins...for 
their safety and their peace of mind as well as success.

2.  Contact committee members.  Request a YES vote.
Senator Justin Brown, Chair.  573.751.5713
Senator Mike Moon.    573.751.1480
Senator Elaine Gannon.   573.751.4008
Senator Nick Schroer.   573.751.1282
Senator Andrew Koenig.  573.751.5568
Senator Tracy McCreery.  573.751.9762
Senator Greg Razer.   573.751.6607

Email Addresses (Copy & paste):

Legislative Overview For the Week Ahead

Legislative Overview For the Week Ahead

In hopes of consolidating our Calls To Action and hot topics for the upcoming week, I'm going to link the Senate info here and I'll do my best to update you as the week progresses.   These aren't the only items we are watching and as you know legislation is an every changing beast so I'll keep you posted as best I can.  

monday, feb 6th

 senate hearings

Local Government & Elections Committee
2:00 pm in Senate Committee Room 2

SB 16 by Cierpiot - OPPOSE.  Weighted voting in our Central Committees.  It's BAD!
SJR 30 by Ben Brown - SUPPORT.  Bans rank choice voting via ballot measure.

1. Come testify in person

2.  Call and email the committee members:
Senator Elaine Gannon, Chair  - elaine.gannon@senate.mo.gov   573.751.4008
Senator Sandy Crawford, Vice Chair - sandy.crawford@senate.mo.gov573.751.8793
Senator Jill Carter - jill.carter@senate.mo.gov 573.751.2173
Senator Mary Elizabeth Coleman - maryelizabeth.coleman@senate.mo.gov  573.751.1492
Senator Andrew Koenig - andrew.koenig@senate.mo.gov. 573.751.5568
Senator John Rizzo - john.rizzo@senate.mo.gov 573.751.3074
Senator Barbara Washington - barbara.washington@senate.mo.gov 573.751.3158

Senate Formal Calendar**

Bills on the formal calendar will be brought to the floor for debate & perfection, but there's no way to know when.  They won't all make it to the floor Monday, but it will depend on how quickly things move as to when they do arrive this week or maybe even next week.  There will also be additions as time passes.  These are the bills I've been watching closely, but there are a few others as well.

SB 5 by Koenig - School Choice.  OPPOSE.  Can't support as currently written.

SB 81 by Coleman - Voucher/School Choice & Tax Credit for Home Schools.  OPPOSE. Can't support as currently written.  The playing field is unequal between public & private schools.  Either push DESE back out of public schools or the only fair thing to do is push DESE requirement in to private and although we don't want that, it will likely happen.  The Treasurer's office will create the rules around the flow of money.  It won't end well.  Private schools need to be protected and public schools need to be free.

SB 100 by Eigel - Gold & Silver.  SUPPORT

SB 39 by Rehder - Boys in Girl's Sports.  SUPPORT w/Amendments to strike DESE & Title 9 language.  Change the language regarding birth certificates due to Cierpiot's birth certificate bill.  She needs to use Moon's language in regard to identification of biological boys.

SB 117 by Leutkemeyer - Torte Reform & Sovereign Immunity.  OPPOSE.  This is a HORRIBLE bill.  I can't express how bad & far reaching it will be.  This bill needs to die quickly!!

SB 45 by Gannon - Expanding Medicaid.  OPPOSE.  Why are Republicans expanding medicaid??  The only way we can support this is if they add the pro-life language to it that would exclude post abortion care.  We might see a filibuster over this one.

senate resolutions

SCR 4 by Eigel - Commends Israel from its cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with Missouri and the United States, supports Israel's right to exist and recognizes Jerusalem as the eternal capitol of Israel.   I LOVE BILL EIGEL FOR THIS!!  


senate hearings

Education & Workforce Development
8:15am in the Senate Lounge

SB 134 by Moon.  SUPPORT.  Bans school personnel from speaking with students about gender identity without prior permission from a parent.

1.  Testify in person.  Arrive by 7:15 or even earlier.  Doors should open at 7:45 am.  Limited seating.  Overflow stands in hallway.

2. Call & Email Committee Members
Andrew Koenig, Chair  573.751.5568
Rick Brattin, Vice-Chair. 573.751.2108
Lauren Arthur. 573.751.5282
Doug Beck. 573.751.0220
Elaine Gannon. 573.751.4008
Denny Hoskins.  573.751.4302
Greg Razer.  573.751.6607
Nick Schroer. 573.751.1282
Curtis Trent. 573.751.1503

School Vaccine Bill - Submit testimony TODAY!


Today at noon there is a hearing on Suzie Pollock's school vaccine bill, HB 2009.  

This bill reinforces our constitutional right to live according to our conscience and it downsizes our government in regard to required vaccines for schools.

We SUPPORT this bill and encourage you to submit an online testimony before midnight tonight.  Be sure to check your email after you submit the form in order to verify your email address and complete the process.

Please share this information with your conservative friends & family!


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