Wyoming State Superintendent Announces Opposition to Nondiscrimination Policy Additions
Announced in a press release, Wyoming's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Brian Schroeder, condemned recent changes to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) nondiscrimination policy.
The specific change announced in May updates the FNS's nondiscrimination policy to also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
The nondiscrimination policy is designed to prevent people from being discriminated against when it comes to programs the FNS administers, which include, among others, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children program, and the National School Lunch Program, which provides free and reduced lunches to students.
The SNAP program in Wyoming currently includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its nondiscrimination policy.
According to a Household Pulse Survey from April 27 to May 9, 14.4% of LGBTQ respondents reported sometimes or often not having enough to eat in the last seven days, compared to 9% of cisgender people and 8% of straight people.
Schroder said in the release:
"As Wyoming's Superintendent of Public Instruction, I wish to denounce in the strongest terms possible, the Biden Administration’s recent reinterpretation of the USDA’s Title IX funding to update its nondiscrimination policies and signage ‘to include prohibitions against discriminations based on gender identity and sexual orientation,’" Schroder said. "Though unsurprising, it is nonetheless both disheartening and astounding that our federal government could become so cynical as to tie the school lunches of little kids to its ever-relentless agenda of social engineering. Arrogance and disrespect are usually two sides of the same coin - and here you have a generous supply of both. This is not about discrimination, it is about control and manipulation, it is about forcing post-modernist thinking on people who refuse to embrace the same, and it is about imposing a value system on the majority of Wyomingites who’s faith or common sense inform them differently. It is, on it’s face, an egregious, albeit subtle, form of discrimination in it’s own right. Federal overreach knows no bounds, and to hold our kids hostage in this manner is not only morally repugnant, but another breathtaking display of political ideology run amok. In any other world, this would be sized up for exactly what it is: extortion. I only hope that ‘We the People’ have the stomach to stand up to it, because it won’t stop until the people say ‘enough.’ If we don’t, we will be guilty of enabling an overbearing and oppressive federal government that is completely out of control."
Linda Finnerty, Communications Director for the Wyoming Department of Education, said in an email "the superintendent and the WDE are continuing discussion with other stakeholders including the Attorney General and Governor's office this week."
Finnerty said that she does not have any additional details on what is being discussed.