Teacher says she was fired for refusing to allow 'male genitals' in girls’ locker room, lie to parents

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

A California teacher says a school district terminated her from her job for refusing to hide students’ confusion about their sexual identities from their parents and was discriminated against for her Christian beliefs.

Jessica Tapia, a physical education teacher at the Jurupa Unified School District, was fired on Jan. 31 after she refused to comply with the district's gender policies, Fox News Digital reported.

“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,” Tapia was quoted as saying. “I essentially had to pick one. Am I going to obey the district in the directive[s] that are not lining up with ... my own beliefs, convictions and faith? Or am I going to stay true …,  choose my faith, choose to be obedient to … the way the Lord has called me to live.”

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She then realized she “couldn’t be a Christian and a teacher.”

The school district released a statement citing California law that prohibits schools from revealing to parents their child's new sexual identity if they choose to identify as trans without first obtaining the student’s consent.

A district spokesperson told Daily Mail that they provide all students and staff with a discrimination- and harassment-free learning environment, citing obligations under state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

The California Department of Education has enforced a law since 2014 that mandates schools seek approval from trans-identified students before disclosing their chosen sexual identities to their families. The law also mandates that schools allow trans-identified students to enter any single-sex restroom and locker room they choose. 

However, Tapia refused to comply with this policy and declined to allow “male genitals” in the girls’ locker room, as that conflicted with her religious beliefs. “I believe firmly that God created man and woman, and you are who he made you to be. And when someone has confusion about that, I believe that's lies and confusion from the devil,” she was quoted as saying.

A notice, reportedly issued on the letterhead of Jurupa Unified School District Superintendent Trenton Hansen and signed by Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Daniel Brooks, stated, “The district cannot accommodate your religious beliefs that ... prohibit you from maintaining a student’s gender identity and refraining from disclosing a student’s gender identity from his/her/their parent(s)/guardians.”

Furthermore, it said, “Based on your religious beliefs, you cannot be dishonest with parents ... If asked about a student’s gender identity by a parent, you cannot refer the parent to a counselor, defer the inquiry and suggest they speak with a student ..., or otherwise deflect the parent’s inquiry.”

Last month, a mother from California, Aurora Regino, initiated a lawsuit against the Chico Unified School District, alleging that the district violated her parental rights by affirming her daughter’s sexual confusion and new gender identity as male without her consent.

The lawsuit, filed by the Center for American Liberty, stated that the school district had implemented a “Parental Secrecy Policy,” which permits schools to facilitate the social transition of students who choose to identify as the opposite sex, while keeping the transition hidden from their parents unless the student explicitly permits the school to inform them.

However, the school district denied the existence of any such policy.

Last September, Kansas public school teacher Pamela Ricard reached a $95,000 settlement with her employer after the school district suspended her for calling a trans-identified student by the student’s legal name instead of their chosen name after self-identifying as the opposite sex.

In August 2021, the Virginia Supreme Court rejected a request by the Loudoun County School Board to allow the suspension of Christian teacher Byron Tanner Cross who was punished for criticizing a proposed policy requiring teachers to use trans-identified students' preferred names and pronouns.

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