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A Christian school will be able to keep getting government funding for lunches, even though it does not abide by the Biden administration’schange to Title IX to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Grant Park Christian Academy of Tampa, Florida, filed a lawsuit against the administration and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for threatening to pull school lunches for low-income students because of its religious affiliation, but two days before a hearing was set to take place, it appears the issue has been resolved.
Attorneys for state and federal officials said in a Friday court filing that the school’s application for funding will be approved, with a confirmation of “the school’s religious exemption” to the rule, the Washington Times reported.
“It shouldn’t have taken a lawsuit to get the government to respect religious freedom,” said Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo, the school’s attorney from Alliance Defending Freedom said in a statement published by the Times. “Grant Park Christian Academy treats every child with dignity and respect and never turns away a hungry child. … We will defend other public and private schools across the country who remain under the burden of this unlawful mandate that violates religious beliefs.”
The complaint, filed in Tampa federal court, said the school was told it must “update their nondiscrimination policies, informational materials and websites to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation” in order to participate in the National School Lunch Program.
Pastor Alfred Johnson, president of Faith Action Ministry Alliance, the parent organization of Grant Park Christian Academy, said these changes in Title IX were keeping his school from functioning the way it should, including preventing their students from eating breakfast, lunch and snacks.
“I feel almost as if the children are being used as pawns in a political game, because all we’re trying to do is feed these children breakfast, lunch and a snack, and that’s what this whole thing is about,” he told Fox News Digital.
The school lunch program affects the entire school, as all 56 students enrolled in the elementary school for the fall come from families below the federal poverty line.
Fox News’ Kelsey Koberg contributed to this report.