A California teacher says she was fired from her job for refusing to conceal from parents their children’s gender identities, which she claims was against her Christian beliefs.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Jessica Tapias said she plans to sue the Jurupa Unified School District in Riverside County [between Ontario and Riverside], claiming religious discrimination.
According to Tapias, in her role as a physical education teacher she was expected to lie to parents about their children’s preferred pronouns and their gender transitions — and that was something she said she could not abide by given her strong religious convictions.
“I knew immediately, like in my gut, in my heart, in my soul, that there was a decision I had to make because, you know, these two things were totally butting heads,” Tapias told the news outlet. “I essentially had to pick one.”
According to a notice that was sent to Tapias from the school district, officials informed her that they could not accommodate her religious beliefs that prevented her from withholding information related to gender from her students’ parents.
“Consequentially, the District will release you from your employment effective at the end of the day on January 31, 2023,” the document said.
Tapias explained that under the school district’s policy, students have a right to privacy. If they choose to share with a teacher that they are transitioning, or that they wish to be referred to by a specific pronoun, the teacher is required to keep that information from parents.
“I don’t believe [kids] should have this ‘privacy’ to where their parents are being left in the dark about some very pertinent information about their well-being,” Tapias said.
The fired teacher added that she had barred students with “male genitals” from accessing the girls’ locker room in violation of district rules related to transgender students.
“I believe firmly that God created man and woman, and you are who he made you to be,” she said. “And when someone has confusion about that, I believe that’s lies and confusion from the devil.”
The Jurupa Unified School District has denied that it discriminated against Tapias based on her faith.
“The District denies the allegations raised by Ms. Tapia [sic]. The District takes seriously its obligation to accommodate its employee’s religious beliefs,” the district said in a statement. “Simultaneously, the District is obligated to comply with all local, state, and federal laws, including anti-discrimination laws and laws that protect students’ rights to privacy, which are in place to protect the nearly 2,500 employees and 18,000 students we serve.”
Original story in New York Post.