Missouri bill would require educators to register as sex offenders if they encourage transgender students

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A new bill introduced in the Missouri legislature would classify assistance to transgender students under 18 in their “social transition” as a felony, making the legislation the first of its kind in a slew of culture war bills introduced by state Republicans. 

The bill defines a social transition as “the process by which an individual adopts the name, pronouns, and gender expression, such as clothing or haircuts, that match the individual’s gender identity and not the gender assumed by the individual’s sex at birth.”

The Missouri bill, introduced by Republican state Rep. Jamie Gragg, would also require the educators to register as sex offenders if they’re found encouraging students to further embrace their preferred gender identity. This could effectively terminate educators’ careers, since sex offenders in Missouri are prohibited from being within 500 feet of a school or day care. 

“This is kind of that missing link, when it comes to really making sure that we protect our children and protecting their relationship between them and their parents,” Gragg told Fox News Digital in an interview. “We have parents that are completely being bypassed, and there’s been a narrative that has grown leaps and bounds.”

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL DIRECTOR CLAIMS ‘INFINITE’ GENDERS, TRANS KIDS CAN IDENTIFY AS ‘TOOTSIE ROLL POPS’

A new bill introduced in the Missouri legislature would classify assistance to transgender students under 18 in their “social transition” as a felony. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Support for a student’s social transition would be considered verbal discussion of their sexual orientation, pronouns or gender identity, or it could be in the form of written materials, resources and signs. 

“A person commits the offense of contributing to social transition if the person is acting in his or her official capacity as a teacher or school counselor and the person provides support, regardless of whether the support is material, information, or other resources to a child regarding social transition,” the bill text reads. 

Gragg argued “with kids being in that age group, that’s the most confusing time of human development, and there are so many different hormones and chemicals in your body.”

“To have the social warriors in our school system pushing the [LGBTQ+] agenda, saying you’ll be accepted in this group, we need to safeguard our children from that kind of thing because they’re so easily influenced,” he said. 

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL DIRECTOR CLAIMS ‘INFINITE’ GENDERS, TRANS KIDS CAN IDENTIFY AS ‘TOOTSIE ROLL POPS’

Missouri Capitol

Moon rises over the Missouri state Capitol building in Jefferson City. (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

If the bill becomes law, teachers, counselors or other school educators who aid in a student’s social transition could face up to four years behind bars and fines up to $10,000.

The bill has not been referred to a committee reading yet, but Gragg said he’s not had “any negative feedback” from his Republican colleagues. He expects the cosponsor list to grow in the coming days as the bill garners more attention.

Most Republican-led bills nationwide typically focus on banning medical transitions for minors through the use of puberty blockers or other hormone treatments. Gragg’s bill in Missouri is the first of its kind that creates a penalty for social transitions specifically. 

He also introduced another bill recently that would bar the state from earmarking funds for libraries that carry “obscene” book materials for children. 

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Missouri has been leading the charge in introducing a wave of transgender culture war bills aiming to protect kids from progressive gender ideologies. Last year, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed into law a bill banning gender-transition surgical procedures for minors, and another prohibiting biological men who identify as trans women from participating in women’s sports teams.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), there have been 13 bills advanced in the Missouri legislature targeting other transgender culture war issues, such as bathroom access in schools or other public facilities for young people. Critics of these bills argue it will further put transgender kids at risk and marginalize them.

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