Missouri lawmakers pass safeguards for boarding schools

Missouri Reform School Owners Charged With Abusing Residents

This 2020 photo shows the exterior of The Circle of Hope Girls' Ranch is in Cedar County in southwest Missouri. The owners of a boarding school in southwest Missouri are facing more than 100 charges alleging they abused girls staying at the home. Boyd and Stephanie Householder, who operated the Circle of Hope Girls Ranch in Cedar County, were charged Tuesday, March 9, 2021, and are in custody.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri lawmakers have passed legislation that would impose greater oversight of unlicensed boarding schools and residential care facilities for children. The vote Monday by the House sends the bill to Gov. Mike Parson. The legislation comes after allegations of long-running abuse at some facilities.

In March, Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed more than 100 criminal charges against the owners of the former Circle of Hope Girls Ranch in Cedar County, Boyd and Stephanie Householder. They have pleaded not guilty while awaiting trial.

The legislation would require such facilities to notify the state of their existence and undergo background checks for their personnel.

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