Christian Teacher Fired For Refusing To Hide Students’ Gender Transitions From Parents

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UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from the Jurupa Unified School District.

A Christian California teacher lost her job for refusing to comply with a school district policy requiring her to conceal students’ gender transitions from their parents, according to a notice and statements provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Jessica Tapia, a former physical education teacher, told the DCNF that she refused to allow biological males in the girl’s locker rooms and would not agree to the Jurupa Unified School District’s privacy policy that required teachers to hide requests made by students regarding their pronouns or gender identity. Tapia said several students found her social media where she regularly shares her faith and values and reported her, which resulted in her being put on leave and eventually fired. (RELATED: The Country’s Biggest School Districts Are Explicitly Hiding Kids’ Gender Transitions From Parents)

“[The district] called me back to work but presented me with various directives, to which I responded I would not be able to comply with some of them based on my beliefs, such as having to call students by their preferred gender/pronoun and withhold that information from their parents,” Tapia said. “I believe God is love and the most loving thing we can do is affirm one another in who God made us to be.”

Despite Tapia explaining her religious objections, Jurupa Unified School District Superintendent Trenton Hansen informed Tapia that the school district would not accommodate her Christian beliefs and informed her that she would be terminated on Jan. 31, according to a notice obtained by the DCNF.

“In sum, District cannot accommodate your religious beliefs that: (1) prohibit you from referring to students who are transgender by their names and pronouns consistent with their gender identity; (2) prohibit you from maintaining a student’s gender identity in confidence and refraining from disclosing a student’s gender identity from his/her/their parent(s)/guardian (s) and require you to exclude students who are transgender from the locker room because student’s elect to use the facility consistent with his/her/their gender identity,” the notice read.

L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City.

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 24: L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018, in New York City.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In the district’s Student and Parent handbook for 2022-2023, it says that students who identify as transgender will be allowed to participate in sports with whichever gender they choose and use bathrooms according to their gender identity. The termination notice also explained that the district had provided a “verbal directive to refrain from disclosing the gender identity of a student who is transgender to a parent who does not know the student’s gender identity.”

Tapia told the DCNF that opposing these kinds of policies went well beyond just being a Christian, but that as a parent, she would have been “absolutely livid” if a teacher hid information about her child.

“I felt it was so important to make the district aware that I would not follow these directives because they are not something I could have followed in good conscience as a believer,” she said. “Furthermore, we are talking about minors. Young, moldable minds that need the guidance of their parents but the school district is asking teachers to withhold pertinent information from parents ‘in case they don’t know.'”

A spokesperson for the school district told the DCNF that it could not directly comment on “confidential personnel matters,” but pointed to U.S. Education Code in reference to their gender policies.

“Under the Education Code, students are guaranteed the right to use facilities consistent with their gender identity, regardless of the gender listed on their records. State and federal antidiscrimination laws, including Title IX, also protect students and staff and obligate the District to provide a discrimination free learning environment,” the spokesperson said. “Finally, all students and staff enjoy the right to privacy under the Constitutions of the United States and California.”

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