A Christian elementary school has filed suit against the Biden administration for threatening to bar its low-income students from receiving school lunch help because of the school’s Christian beliefs.
All of the 56 students that Grant Park Christian Academy of East Tampa, Florida expects in the fall are below the federal poverty line and rely on yearly scholarships and federal lunch funding.
But according to the school’s attorneys, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, who administers the Federal School Lunch Program, is poised to reject the school’s application for lunch funding.
Why? Because of Grant Park Christian Academy’s religious beliefs, including its understanding of human nature and sexuality, which appear to conflict with proposed Title IX regulations from the Biden administration. The proposed regulations seek to broaden Title IX’s sex discrimination protection to apply to gender and sexuality, especially for LGBTQ+ individuals.
According to the lawsuit, a USDA representative told the school to update its nondiscrimination policies to exclude discriminatory clauses based on gender identity and sexual orientation or else its application would be denied. The small Christian school refused.
“We treat every child with dignity and respect, and we would never deny a hungry child a meal,” said Pastor Alfred Johnson, president of Faith Ministry Alliance, the parent organization of Grace Park Christian Academy.
“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.”
The Biden administration wants to “radically redefine sex in Title IX in a way that will threaten to take the lunch money away from Grant Park Elementary,” says Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo, a lawyer at Alliance Defending Freedom, which is helping defend the school.
“We’re filing suit in this case to make sure that the children are fed when school starts in two weeks, and that the school can abide by its Christian convictions while feeding the kids from these low-income families,” Steinmiller-Perdomo told Fox News Digital.
Religious exemptions already exist within Title IX that should ensure hungry kids get fed, Steinmiller-Perdomo argues.
“We’re just asking the Biden administration to comply with the law, to grant Grant Park Christian Academy the religious exemption it’s entitled to,” she said.