- THE FEDERALIST - Joy Pullman - GELLER REPORT - - MAY 26, 2022 -
K-12 schools must allow boys into girls’ private areas to obtain federal funds for lunches, breakfasts, and snacks, the Biden administration announced this month. A U.S. Department of Education spokesman told The Federalist the Biden administration’s press releases from several agencies announcing this policy will be followed by formal rulemaking in June.
“It seems to be playing politics with feeding poor kids, which is really unfortunate,” John Elcesser, executive director of the Indiana Non-Public Education Association, said via phone amid weeks of attempting to sort out these new demands with government officials on behalf of private schools in his state. “Because 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.”
Before many schools shut down in response to Covid-19, the National School Lunch Program fed nearly 30 million kids every school day, in approximately 100,000 public and private schools and residential care facilities.
Under this new demand, establishments that accept any federal food funding, including food stamps, must also allow males who claim to be female to access female private spaces, such as showers, bathrooms, and sleeping areas. Such organizations must also follow protocols such as requiring staff to use inaccurate pronouns to describe transgender people and allowing male staff to dress as women while on the job.
Religious institutions, however, qualify for a waiver exempting them from these requirements, said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Greg Baylor in an interview Monday. According to the 1972 Title IX law, he said, religious institutions don’t have to file any paperwork to be exempt, although they can if they wish.
Baylor noted, however, that publicly affirming a commitment to sexual reality by seeking an exemption acknowledgment from federal agencies may assist extremist pressure campaigns. The activist group Human Rights Campaign’s blueprint for the Biden administration pushed for narrowing religious exemptions for multiple federal regulations and for the administration to “out” individuals and institutions who request such exemptions.
The Biden administration appears to be following that blueprint closely. According to Elcesser, USDA officials are telling schools to file paperwork to be exempt, although the Title IX law says that’s an option but not required. The USDA confirmed that to The Federalist Tuesday with this emailed statement: “Organizations may request a religious exemption by submitting a written declaration to the Secretary of Agriculture identifying the provisions that conflict with a specific tenet of the religious organization.”
LEIA MAIS >