TAMPA, Fla. – The Biden administration is attempting to force schools to accept its new definition of "sex" or lose federal funding, but in the midst of that battle one faith-based school has just won an important legal victory.
The new definition of "sex" involves Title IX and "sex-based discrimination." The Biden administration wants all schools that receive federal aid to provide open access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports, based on students' self-perceived gender identity.
Schools that don't agree with this new LGBT policy could lose funding for kids' school lunches. That's why one Christian school in Tampa, Florida took the administration to court over the new definition, and it resulted in new guidance being issued from the USDA.
Under Title IX, participating schools agree not to discriminate based on sex. Grant Park Christian Academy, which serves low-income, minority families, fully complies with that requirement. But because of the school's religious beliefs, it could not comply with the new transgender aspect of the mandate.
On the school's behalf, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration and the state's commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, Nikki Fried, who administers the National School Lunch Program in Florida.
Due to the ADF's lawsuit, the Biden administration and Fried approved the academy's application for funding to continue serving free meals to the school's students.
"While it shouldn't have taken a federal lawsuit," said ADF Legal Counsel Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo, "at least now, all religious schools like Grant Park Christian Academy who rely on the USDA's funding to serve nutritious meals to kids in need and can continue this vital service in their communities."
The Biden administration also granted the school's request for a religious exemption to the mandate. And on Friday, the administration said it would automatically respect exemptions for all religious schools if the schools' beliefs conflicted with the new Title IX mandate.
The USDA's guidance clarifies that religious schools automatically receive a religious exemption and do not have to submit a written request for a Title IX exemption in order to claim a religious exemption. However, all charter and public schools are still subject to the federal mandate.
While this is a victory for Grant Park Christian Academy and all religious schools, the Biden administration's attacks on freedom are far from over, the ADF warned.
As CBN News reported in June, if public schools don't adopt transgender bathroom policies, the Biden administration reportedly planned to withhold food funds intended for needy children. This new mandate applies to all school activities, including restrooms, dress codes, hiring, and pronoun usage.
Schools cannot receive money to feed needy children unless they embrace the Biden administration's extreme ideology about gender.
The National School Lunch Program on average, provided low-cost or free lunches to 29.6 million children each school day in nearly 100,000 public and nonprofit private schools (grades PK-12) and residential child care institutions in 2019 at a total cost of $14.2 billion, according to the USDA. The following year, 76.9 percent of all NSLP meals were served free or at a reduced price.
As CBN News previously reported, the Agricultural Department's Food and Nutrition Service announced in May it would interpret the prohibition on discrimination based on sex found in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The department said its action is due to President Biden's Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation and is consistent with the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County which prohibits discrimination along those lines.
Trans Bathroom Policies Can Put Girls at Risk
As CBN News reported, outrage over a student, who was charged with bathroom-related sexual assault at two different school campuses, prompted parents to speak out against Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) making questionable accommodations for transgender students.
A teenage girl was sexually assaulted in a bathroom at Stonebridge High School back in May of 2021 after a boy wearing a skirt entered the girls' bathroom.
The transgender teen was later found guilty of sexual assault and sentenced to remain on supervised probation in a juvenile treatment facility until his 18th birthday.
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