A California school recently fired a Christian teacher after she refused to comply with the district's policies that required her to conceal students' gender transitions from parents, Fox News Digital reported.
Jessica Tapia, a former physical education teacher who worked at the Jurupa Unified School District in Jurupa Valley, California, informed the district that because of her religious beliefs, she would not be able to lie or withhold information regarding the wellbeing of children from their parents.
"Am I going to obey the district in the directive 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. And so it was crazy to be in the position where I realized that I couldn't be a Christian and a teacher," Tapia told Fox News Digital.
The teacher explained that the school required her to refer to students by their preferred pronouns and withhold that information from their parents. She was also told to allow transgender students into the locker room that coincides with their chosen gender identity.
Tapia said the district told her that it would be discriminatory against transgender students not to allow biological boys into the female locker room.
"I was very clear with them. If the student has male genitals, I'm not letting them in the female locker room," she said.
Tapia stated that, according to the school district, students have a right to privacy, even from their parents.
"If a student shares information regarding a pronoun preference or thinking they're maybe the opposite gender of what they biologically are, if they share that information with a teacher, we are supposed to keep that info from parents in case the parent doesn't know," she explained.
Tapia noted that there were several issues with the gender policy.
"We're talking [about] 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds," Tapai added. "I don't believe [kids] should have this 'privacy' to where their parents are being left in the dark about very pertinent information about their wellbeing."
Tapia received a letter signed by the assistant superintendent of human resources, Daniel Brooks, informing her that the district would be unable to accommodate her religious exception request and that she would be dismissed from her position on January 31.
"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," the letter 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," the letter continued.
Tapia stated that she got into teaching to "make an impact" and to be "a light to [kids] possibly coming from very rough homes like I did when I was a child."
"I don't believe ... that that's how God's calling us to love, by affirming those lies and confusion," Tapia said. "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."
The district denied Tapia's claim that it discriminated against her based on religious beliefs.
Jurupa Unified School District told Fox News Digital, "The District denies the allegations raised by Ms. Tapia. The District takes seriously its obligation to accommodate its employee's religious beliefs. 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. We cannot comment further on personnel matters."
Tapia told the news outlet that she plans to take legal action against the district.
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