Wyoming Superintendent Believes in Defending the Traditional View of Male and Female
On Thursday, Brian Schroeder, Wyoming's state Superintendent of Public Instruction, put out an update in response to possible changes to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) nondiscrimination policy.
Specifically, the USDA is updating its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity, which would mean the school lunch program, administered through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which is a part of the USDA, would need to avoid discriminating against additional groups.
Schroeder said in the statement that he is looking into having Wyoming, along with 25 other states, sue the federal government to prevent the implementation of the updated nondiscrimination policy.
However, at this time Schroeder said they are still speaking with legal counsel to determine what is the best course of action.
If the state decides not to comply with the updated nondiscrimination policy, Schroeder said the state would lose the $40 million in USDA funding it receives for various programs, and would then need the legislature to reappropriate funding to keep those programs afloat.
Schroeder said in his statement that the state treasurer has told him that there would be enough state funding to supplant the federal government when it comes to school lunch programs.
While some school districts would be able to follow the updated nondiscrimination policy to still receive federal funding, Schroeder said he doesn't know which ones are, just that "some districts are reviewing all options."
Anjali Budhiraja, public affairs specialist with the FNS, said in an email that the updated policy would require states receiving funds from FNS to review allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation and those organizations must update their nondiscrimination policies and signage to include discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Budhiraja said that members of the LGBTQ community who participate in the National School Lunch Program should be free from discrimination, and if discrimination does occur, they can file a complaint of sex discrimination.
Schroeder said in the statement "Vulnerable children will not go unfed in Wyoming, and we will not allow boys in girls’ locker rooms...Be fully assured, this is not the end – they will be back (i.e. boys in girls sports, forced usage of pronouns, etc.)."
However, Schroeder said he doesn't know if the USDA will require Wyoming to do any of the things, it's just a feeling he has based on where the country is going.
"That's not something that the USDA has told us explicitly, but look at the culture, it's happening all over the country, you can see which way this is going," Schroeder said. "It's not something I know is going to happen, it's potentially going to happen by logical inference, and again, just by looking around the country and seeing what's happening around the country...They're laying the groundwork for potential more social engineering."
Schroeder defined social engineering as "perpetrating a worldview and value system that's left-leaning, that a strong contingency of the Wyoming people disagree with."
Schroeder said the reason he's fighting against the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the USDA policy is that he believes many people in Wyoming agree with him.
"There's a strong contingency of the Wyoming people who disagree with the left-leaning worldview and value system, specifically in the area of human sexuality, the constructs of human sexuality, and that's the people I'm fighting for and defending," Schroeder said. "What we're trying to uphold and defend is a traditional view of male and females. We believe that's worth defending and a high enough hill to die on."
Schroeder said he doesn't know how trans people in Wyoming feel about him fighting against the inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the USDA's nondiscrimination policy.
When asked if trans women should be allowed to use the women's restroom, Schroeder said that because trans women are biological males, they should not be allowed to use the women's restroom.