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'I Couldn't Be a Christian and a Teacher': CA Teacher Opposes District's Trans Policy, Loses Job

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A California teacher who reportedly lost her job after refusing to go along with her school district's transgender policies is speaking out about her experience.

Jessica Tapias ultimately decided her Christian beliefs would not allow her to go along with hiding students' gender transitions from parents and lying to them. 

Tapias, who worked as a teacher for the Jurupa Unified School District in Jurupa, California, told Fox News: "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."

"I essentially had to pick one," she continued. "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."

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Fox News reported it reviewed a notice from the district Tapias received that was written under Superintendent Trenton Hansen's letterhead. In the notice, the district said they couldn't accommodate Tapias' Christian beliefs which prohibited her from withholding information on gender transitions from kids' parents. 

"Consequentially, the District will release you from your employment effective at the end of the day on January 31, 2023," the notice said, according to Fox. 

"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, signed by Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Daniel Brooks said.

"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. 

"According to my school district, students have privacy. And so if a student shares information regarding a pronoun preference or thinking there may be 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," Tapias told Fox News

"And there's so many issues with that. How do we know the parent doesn't know? Number two, …we're talking {about} 12, 13, 14, 15-year-olds. 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," she continued. 

Tapias was a physical education teacher at a school in the district.  She also denied biological males access to the girl's locker room. This also went against the school district's policy. 

"I don't believe in my faith that that's how God's calling us to love by affirming those lies and confusion," Tapia told Fox. "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."

CBN News reached out to the Jurupa Unified School District for comment.  In an emailed statement, the district said: "The Jurupa Unified School District {is} committed to providing all students and staff with a discrimination and harassment-free learning environment. 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." 

"Finally, all students and staff enjoy the right to privacy under the Constitutions of the United States and California. While individuals may elect to disclose their personal information to the public, the District is prohibited from doing so. Therefore, the District cannot directly comment on confidential personnel matters," the statement concluded. 

Tapias has retained an attorney at the Pacific Justice Institute and intends to sue the district, according to Fox News.

"We are waiting for a right-to-sue letter from the {U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission}, and then we will proceed from there," she said.  

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of