A Florida Christian Academy filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming that it faces losing funding for school lunches for students with low incomes if it doesn’t comply with the Biden administration’s policy regarding gender identity.
Grant Park Christian Academy in Tampa sued President Biden, the Agriculture Department, and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried over the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s May 5 guidance adding sexual and orientation and gender identity to Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in education.
The school contacted Ms. Fried, who administers federal school meals program. However, she told them that participating schools had to comply with all federal regulations, according to lawsuit filed at U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida.
“Commissioner Fried’s office gave the school one option when the school objected to violating its religious beliefs — ‘your school is not required to participate in the National School Lunch Program,'” said the complaint filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the school.
The lunches offered by the school in the low-income community of a minority are, according to the suit, “the most delicious meal that they have all day” and even the best.
“In other words, the push by the Biden Administration to redefine sex federally has reached the point that they will refuse school lunches for underprivileged students just because the school does not break their religious beliefs,” stated the filing.
The Washington Times reached out to both the USDA and Florida Agriculture Commissioners for comments.
The challenge comes a day after 22 state attorneys general sued in federal court in Tennessee to block enforcement of the USDA guidance.
The attorneys general charged the administration with violating Title IX and misinterpreting Title IX. Meanwhile, the Florida Christian School argued that the policy violates religious freedom.
Grant Park is not required to comply with the federal mandate to replace biological sex with gender identity in all aspects of its activities. This includes males sharing bathrooms, private areas, programs, or other interactions with females and vice versa, according to an ADF press release.
” This new school lunch requirement applies to all school activities including hiring, dressing codes, school admissions and curricula. It prohibits the use of sex-specific bathrooms or dress codes. It also requires that ‘preferred pronouns’ are used in opposition to student’s sexual .”
BREAKING: We filed suit against President Joe Biden and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for threatening to take away school lunches from low-income children, simply because they attend a Christian school.
— Alliance Defending Freedom (@ADFLegal) July 27, 2022
According to the USDA guidance, state and local governments that are participating in this program should “update and signify their non-discrimination policies” and prohibit discrimination based upon gender identity and/or sexual orientation .”
The policy follows the White House executive order on preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity issued on Jan. 20, 2021, the first day of Mr. Biden’s presidency.
Erica Steinmiller Perdomo,
ADF’s legal counsel, accused the Biden Administration of “threatening take money away from low-income kids simply because they go to Christian schools .”
There are 56 students enrolled in the Christian academy, all of whom come from families whose income falls below the poverty line and attend the school on scholarships. August is the start of fall semester. 10.
“Grant Park Christian Academy is applying for school lunch funding for the 2022-2023 school year, but Fried is poised to reject the school’s funding, and with it, the school’s ability to continue serving food to kids,” said the release.
Faith Action Ministry Alliance president Alfred Johnson said that the school “would not deny any hungry child a meal .”
” Our school lunch program is crucial for our children to get healthy, balanced meals every day,” he stated. It’s not right for government officials, he said, to threaten to withhold funding because they believe that those meals are incompatible with their religious beliefs .”
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is also mentioned in the suit. A May 5 press release stated that the USDA “is committed to administering its programs with equity, fairness and service with dignity .”
” “It is crucial to eradicate discrimination of any kind, including that based on gender identity and sexual orientation,” he stated.
Ms. Fried will be running for Democratic Governor’s Nomination to Challenge Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis will be in the midterm elections. Aug. 23.