COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A lawsuit against the Biden Administration, filed last month by Ohio’s top lawyer and 21 other attorneys general, is pushing back on a policy that they said could impact school lunches.
In May, the Department of Agriculture announced that it will expand its Title IX protections to include gender identity and sexual orientation. It reads, “Agencies that receive funds from food and nutrition services must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.”
Ohio State Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) said this is good and that no protection is too much.
“When a policy identifies and says we want to make sure these people are not discriminated against, these people will have access, that’s an insurance policy,” Antonio said.
Ohio’s Attorney General David Yost is urging Biden to withdraw that guidance. In a statement, Yost said this policy is “literally converting carrots into sticks and using them to beat a political agenda into local schools.”
In a letter to the Biden Administration, Yost, along with 21 other AGs, said, “The inevitable result is regulatory chaos that would threaten essential nutritional services to some of our most vulnerable citizens.”
“It’s pathetic, it’s sad, that something that was meant to open up the circle and be inclusive has been seen by these small-minded individuals to establish a case against it,” Antonio said.
Yost said another issue with the new USDA guidance is the way it came about. He said other states and stakeholders did not have the opportunity to provide input.
“It seems to me like there’s a lot of other things that the attorney general can be spending his time, and his tax dollars, dealing with,” Antonio said.
About one of 100,000 schools rely on federal funding to provide free or reduced-priced meals for their students.