Biden Administration Forces K-12 Gender Ideology Compliance with Lunch Money Threat

THORNTON, CO - JUNE 5: Sarah Carrasco, 7, takes her tray back to her seat during lunch at
Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Biden administration has tethered federal school lunch funding to compliance with gender identity ideology, including whether a school allows boys to use girls restrooms and locker rooms.

The move comes as the Biden administration is using heavy-handed measures to enshrine gender ideology into federal law.

Biden’s Department of Agriculture announced earlier this month that in order for schools to receive funds for student lunches, breakfasts, and other food items, it must comply with its interpretation of the ban on discrimination based on sex in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other food-related programs, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

“USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness, and serving those in need with the highest dignity,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “A key step in advancing these principles is rooting out discrimination in any form – including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“At the same time, we must recognize the vulnerability of the LGBTQI+ communities and provide them with an avenue to grieve any discrimination they face,” the secretary continued. “We hope that by standing firm against these inequities we will help bring about much-needed change.”

Critics of the move are concerned with the Biden administration’s willingness to “play[] politics with feeding poor kids,” according to Indiana Non-Public Education Association executive director John Elcesser, speaking with the Federalist.

During full-time, in-person schooling, the National School Lunch Program feeds nearly 30 million children every day in both public and private institutions. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, the program still maintained feeding 22.6 million children every day.

To receive such assistance under the new rule, the Biden administration is forcing schools to comply with allowing boys to use girls’ changing and restroom facilities as well as sleeping areas, and forcing teachers to use inaccurate pronouns to describe children who believe they are transgender.

“If a school feels like they cannot participate because it’s in conflict with their mission or values, if a religious exemption is not granted, you’re taking away a program that’s feeding low-income kids,” Elcesser continued.

But to the Biden administration, “today’s notice further affirms USDA’s efforts to dismantle barriers that historically underserved communities have faced in accessing its programs and services.”

While some religious institutions could be eligible for an exemption, no government school will be able to seek exemption from the rule — leaving it up to parents and individual school districts to fight the rule in court.

The move, however, is in line with Biden’s day-one Executive Order telling federal agencies to implement rules based on gender ideology. It, and other moves from the Biden administration, have helped promote sex change operations for children in which genitals are mutilated and replaced with prosthetics — oftentimes before or during puberty.

Much of the power to make this decision also appears to come from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, in which Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by the Court’s liberal wing, read transgender protections into the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Still, critics of the USDA rule believe it even exceeds the Bostock ruling.

“The Biden administration is grossly extending the Bostock holding where it does not belong,” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) told the Federalist. “Like many of the Biden administration’s power grabs, this imposition transgresses areas of proper state and local authority. As the principal guardians of federalism, state attorneys general have the ability to combat such overreach where it injures state functions.”

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.


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