Come this fall, schools nationwide might not be able to feed children that rely on school meal programs like SNAP as the only source of food for breakfast and lunch.
A Christian school in Tampa, Florida, filed a complaint against the Biden administration after their lunch program was threatened to be cut after not adopting the administrations gender identity and sexual orientation policies.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the school filed a lawsuit last week after they say Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried threatened to cut the children's lunches. "The Biden administration is threatening to take away lunch money from low-income children simply because they attend Christian schools," said ADF Legal Counsel Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo.
A total of 22 state attorneys general joined in the fight—filing a lawsuit against the Biden Administration's new Title IX guidance, and the threat against SNAP school lunch funding. The administration issued the updates without going to state leaders and giving them any opportunity for input on the drastic measures—now they are hoping to reverse what has been done.
This doesn't just pressure Grant Park Christian Academy, but any low-income school nationwide that doesn't want to adopt their regulations forbidding sex-specific restrooms and dress codes, as well as requiring Christian schools to use "preferred pronouns" for students. Schools are already required to comply with and enact a nondiscrimination policy that prohibits any student from not being served based on their sex, political beliefs, age, race, color, disability and religion.
This new policy would require the schools to use pronouns the student chooses as well as provide them with gender neutral restrooms despite their Christian beliefs.
ADF says that all 56 students enrolled in Grant Park Christian Academy for the fall come from families that are below the federal poverty level, and they receive scholarships to attend the private school. Grant Park Christian School was founded in 2015, and they teach students all the way from pre-K to eighth grade. When the doors open for the first day of school, officials say it's likely that Fried will reject the school's funding and ability to continue serving food to kids.
"Our kids depend on our school's lunch program to eat balanced, nutritious meals. It's wrong for government officials to threaten to take the funding for those meals away simply because we wish to live and operate consistent with our religious convictions," Pastor Alfred Johnson says.
ADF says the academy's religious convictions including their beliefs on marriage, family and biological sex exclude it from having to comply with the federal mandate. "The Biden Administration is trying to redefine Title IX in a way that will cause the school to choose between violating its religious beliefs, or serving essential meals in school," Steinmiller-Perdomo said.
SNAP related programs serve around 30 million school children every day who rely on it for breakfast and lunch, and that number could go down based on the number of schools that do or do not comply with the administrations newest policy.
It does not appear that Fried or anyone else in the administration has backed off their stance and plan on changing their Title IX policy. Charisma News will continue to provide updates on these policies, and how it could affect your family this fall.
Shelby Lindsay is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.
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