food fight

Ohio school officials conflicted over choice between feeding children or being transphobic

The USDA has been facing legal disputes for months now, and the reason why is astounding (derogatory).

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the USDA’s program that helps to fund public school meals, stepped up its Title IX compliance guidelines for fund recipients earlier this summer.

The official press release on the decision explains that “state and local agencies, program operators and sponsors that receive funds from FNS must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

“Those organizations must also update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Public figures who would prefer schools be allowed to discriminate freely took umbrage with this, resulting in a coalition of some 22 states‘ attorneys general filing a lawsuit against the USDA.

Related: The DeSantis administration’s latest transphobic ruling has them headed straight for a lawsuit

Now, the Ohio State School Board of Education is set to vote on two different resolutions that prove that they can’t quite figure out whether they want all kids to eat or not.

One of these resolutions would expand the free meal programs to all Ohio students. The other would directly oppose the USDA’s recent anti-discrimination measures regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

The message sent is that they want all students to eat, unless they’re students they want to discriminate against. A bit of a faulty definition of “all”.

The executive director of Ohio Association of Foodbanks, Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, acknowledges these two resolutions as being in “direct conflict” with one another.

“All kids, regardless of their ZIP code, regardless of their gender identity, have to eat,” she explains plainly.

“Not only is it ensuring that our kids are well-prepared and well-nourished to learn, but we also know that it enhances their learning environment. And kids who have access to free meals do better than their hungry peers.”

Related: WATCH: This trans girl’s little brother goes from confused to accepting in one heartwarming talk

As wild as it feels to have to explain that kids have to eat regardless of their gender identity, it’s a point that bears stating.

Ohio state legislature has been one of the toughest on trans student athletes, even going so far as including mandatory “genital inspections” in a bill regarding girls’ athletics earlier this year.

Even more appalling about this targeted attacking of rights is the fact the Ohio reportedly only had a single out transgender varsity athlete in the state at the time of the bill’s passing.

The board is set to hear public input on the two aforementioned resolutions soon, so perhaps common sense will win out and strike down their opposition to the USDA.