Grant Park Christian Academy receives funding for its school lunch program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the National School Lunch Program, which Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D-Florida) administers. But a new change under Title IX is a problem for the school.
"Participating schools, including Grant Park Christian Academy, must go along with the Biden administration's radical expansion of 'sex' to include sexual orientation and gender identity, in violation of the schools' religious beliefs, or lose their ability to serve low-income children free meals," Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the law firm representing Grant Park Christian Academy in its case, explains in a press release.
Before school starts on August 10th, ADF wants the court to weigh in on the matter and ensure that the 56 students who are enrolled for the fall semester will be fed their school lunches.
"Everybody should be concerned about this," says ADF attorney Erica Steinmiller-Perdomo. "Everybody should be concerned with a threat of government overreach that threatens their core beliefs."
Grant Park Christian Academy's religious beliefs, including its understanding of the nature of the human person and marriage and family, preclude it from complying with a federal mandate to substitute gender identity for biological sex in any aspect of its activities, especially when it comes to males sharing restrooms, private spaces, and programs with females, and vice versa.
"We treat every child with dignity and respect, and we would never deny a hungry child a meal," says Pastor Alfred Johnson, president of non-profit Faith Action Ministry Alliance, the parent organization of Grant Park Christian Academy that does outreach for the local community and is trying to lift up low-income areas.
"All of the students that attend Grant Park Christian Academy receive federal funding for their education and for meals," Steinmiller-Perdomo notes. "So what the school is doing here is providing essential service in the community and providing a way for these families to ensure that their children can get the best education possible that's consistent with their religious beliefs, and also making sure that the school will provide for them nutritious meals that they depend on."
ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit, Grant Park Christian Academy v. Fried, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.