Alabama has more than 100,000 low-income kids across the state who depend on free or reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches at school (there are more than 30 million kids who get free or reduced-priced lunch and 14 million who get free or reduced-price breakfast).
For many of these students, the meals they get at school are the only full meals they get throughout the day, and they depend on the school meals to survive.
The funding for these meals comes from the federal government, but now the Biden administration is threatening to cut this funding if Alabama or any other state does not comply with the woke agenda they are trying to force on our kids.
Earlier this year, President Biden’s USDA (the department that funds these school breakfasts and lunches) announced that schools participating in the National School Lunch Program must now include gender identity in their discrimination policies and must investigate any allegations of such discrimination.
What does this mean for Alabama? If we believe there are two genders – male and female – and refuse to accept their woke agenda, we could have our school lunch funding pulled.
There are legitimate reasons to recognize the differences between males and females when it comes to athletics, locker rooms, restrooms, and other areas where biology, safety, and/or privacy are involved.
Just like a classroom bully threatening to steal a kid’s lunch money, the Biden administration is willing to jeopardize the basic health and wellness of kids all across our state and nation if we don’t comply with their ridiculous agenda. This infuriates me, and it should equally infuriate every parent, grandparent, and teacher in this country.
In response to the Biden administration’s ridiculous announcement to cut school lunch funding, 22 states (including Alabama) have filed a lawsuit. I’m thankful for the leadership of folks like Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall who is doing all he can to fight back.
AG Marshall said in a press release, “Joe Biden and his administration are obsessed with imposing their extremist sexual politics on the people of our great nation, adults and children alike. Their latest plan…is to hold schoolchildren’s food hostage unless their schools submit to the left’s radical ‘gender identity’ agenda. This immoral and illegal scheme cannot stand.” I couldn’t agree more.
I’m doing all I can to fight back from the federal level to fight back against this proposal. I am joining U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko’s (R-Ariz.) bill, the “Protecting Kids, Protecting Lunches Act,” which prohibits the Secretary of Agriculture from withholding funding from schools for maintaining single-sex spaces such as sports teams and locker rooms.
Although I doubt this bill will be a high priority for Nancy Pelosi and her liberal allies, I simply will not stand by and let the Biden administration take our kids’ lunch money simply because we refuse to comply with their radical agenda.
This is as un-American as it gets, and we will not let it happen in Alabama.
Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s first congressional district. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.