The Missouri Legislature has passed regulations that would keep an eye on religious boarding schools. Countless former students at some of these places say they have been beaten, raped, starved, restrained, and isolated long-term. The legislation would require safety inspections, background checks for employees, and the schools must notify the state of their existence. Before a final vote on the bill, Representative Dave Griffith of Jefferson City says he hopes the bill sends the message that child abusers can run, but they can’t hide.
Opponents of the bill, including Senators Cindy O’Laughlin of Shelbina and Mike Moon of Ash Grove, do not think the plan will stop the abuse. The measure, sponsored by Wardsville Republican Representative Rudy Viet, heads to the governor for action.