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After opening an investigation into the Missouri school district where a teenage girl was brutally beaten by another student, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey tells Fox News Digital that the school is refusing to comply.

Last week, Bailey told Fox News Digital exclusively that he would open an investigation into the Hazelwood School District and how their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs contributed to the safety failures following the violent attack.

“Hazelwood owes the parents of the district and the entire community an explanation as to what role these radical programs and safety failures played here,” Bailey’s staff said, emphasizing that this is the focus of the investigation.

After several days of silence from the Hazelwood School District, a spokesperson fired back at Bailey, claiming his investigation was full of inaccuracies. Bailey shared the email correspondence with Fox News exclusively. 


Hazelwood East High School and AG Andrew Bailey

Bailey says the district owes the parents an explanation as to what role radical programs play in student safety. (Google Maps / Getty Images)

“It is disappointing to have an attorney general that intentionally disrespects public school district administrators and elected officials by sending error-filled correspondence to intimidate and threaten their leadership. It is surprising that you are opening an investigation based on lies that you could have easily ascertained if you would have taken a few minutes to fact-check prior to sending your correspondence,” Cindy Reeds Ownsby, an attorney for the Hazelwood School District wrote. 

Ownsby claims the March 8 fight did not occur “during the middle of the school day” but rather after school hours more than a quarter of a mile from school property, saying that the presence of SROs (school resource officers) in the school building would not have prevented a fight from occurring off school property and outside the school day.

Ownsby went on to point out other fights within the area that didn’t receive press coverage like this fight and questioned Bailey’s integrity. 

“Is that because you have assumed, without official verification, that the March 8th altercation was between a white student and a black student, while the other incidents were black-on-black student or student/teacher encounters? Do you value white students’ safety more than black students’ safety? Do you honestly believe, again, without any official verification or specific knowledge, that the fight on March 8th was a result of a racial issue between the female students that was caused by the HSD belief in the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for all?” Ownsby stated in the email. 


Hazelwood High School with the superintendent, Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is investigating the Hazelwood School District after 16-year-old high school student Kaylee Gains was brutally beaten in a viral video. AG Bailey detailed the investigation in a letter to the district’s superintendent, Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, on Thursday. ( Maps)

“I’m deeply concerned that the school where these teens were students has a history of promoting divisive racial ideology over the safety of its students,” Bailey said. 

Ownsby goes on to question Bailey further and attack his character.

“What community do you represent as the Missouri Attorney General? Do you represent all the citizens of Missouri? Or only the white citizens? Your lack of care about the accuracy of the allegations you make, combined with your false assumptions about the security provided by the HSD could lead to the belief that you are not the attorney general for ALL Missouri citizens, but rather only for those that look and believe as you do,” Ownsby wrote.  

Bailey responded to the email saying that the school district had misunderstood the nature of the investigation after initially pointing out irrelevant details. 

“My letter cited several sources for information, including publicly-available reporting and the District’s own policies. The most egregious “error” you identify is an incorrect date reference that was reported in local media. As with any investigation, my office seeks to uncover facts surrounding the incident at issue. An incident you openly acknowledge involved Hazelwood East students,” Bailey responded. 

“I’d like to clarify that my letter did not indicate that your “most egregious error” was the incorrect date (and time) of the incident. Your most egregious errors are your unsupported allegations that race was a factor in the incident and that school resource officers would have been on the scene of an incident that occurred after school hours and one-half mile from school property,” Ownsby sent in a response email.


missouri attorney general andrew bailey

Andrew Bailey, Missouri’s attorney general, during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024.  (Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bailey pointed out that he specifically used Chapter 610, which requires a public governmental body to turn over records or provide a three-day letter explaining why the requested documents are not being disclosed.

“Instead of directing your ire at a date reference or making ad-hominem attacks, you should follow Missouri law and do so immediately,” Bailey said. 

Ownsby replied that the district has acknowledged the receipt of the Sunshine Law request and will make every attempt to provide the requested records by April 15. 

Bailey said the investigation will determine whether the school district violated Missouri’s Human Rights Act, which “guarantees every Missouri resident the right to be free from discrimination and the right to full enjoyment of places of public accommodation.”


Kaylee, the 16-year-old teen who was brutally attacked in the video that went viral, is reportedly breathing on her own, has been moved out of the ICU and remains in stable condition, according to an update on her GoFundMe page on Friday. 

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