A California teacher was fired after refusing to comply with her district’s policy that students must keep their gender identities and preferred pronouns secret from parents.
Jessica Tapia is a tenured teacher of physical education at Jurupa Valley High school (JVHS), in the Jurupa Valley Schools District (JVSD), for more than six years. After several students looked through her social media accounts and reported her as unsafe, Tapia was flagged and given a warning by her district.
Tapia is a Christian who shares her faith on social media. A coordinated campaign saw students monitor Tapia’s account and comment on her posts. They also began digging into old posts from the past.
After taking time off to take care of her health, the mother-of-three was allowed to resume her job in the fall. However, she was required to undergo a review to determine if there were any religious exemptions. Her job was not saved by the review. She stated that she couldn’t in good conscience comply with rules requiring her students to conceal their gender identity from their parents and would not allow “male genitalia”, in locker rooms with girls.
In January, she was fired for not complying with the gender identity directives. Below is a snapshot of Tapia’s letter from administrators.
Tapia claims that students complained mainly about her faith.
For my podcast, Just Listen to Yourself I interviewed the Californian native and asked her if she had received any complaints from parents about her to the district. She stated that they hadn’t received any parent complaints. She also said she had never been asked by a student to address her differently or use a pronoun. These were all hypothetical scenarios.
“Some of the accusations, the evidence that they submitted for me, were actually Bible verses that you posted. There were others like it, and somewhere they were based on Bible verses that I posted. Evidently, I use my social media to express my views and beliefs and how I live my daily life. Some of the accusations were that I didn’t call students by their preferred genders or pronouns. This was also very interesting because I had never received a student approach me with, “Mrs.Tapia. I would like you to call me this.”
Tapia has not received any complaints from her parents. Tapia discovered that JVHS was not only hiding students’ gender identities from their parents but also kept their parents in the dark about complaints about tenured teachers.
Tapia claimed that almost everyone knew about Tapia’s employment. Tapia was simply let go and replaced by a new employee.
“I didn’t know that my parents were aware. It was probably just that I left and they brought in a substitute. That was all I know. A close friend of mine, the other female PE teacher at high school, was also there. She was not sure why I was absent.”
The high school teacher is a Christian and says that she could not adhere to a directive of dishonesty.
I pointed out to them that you actually asked me to be honest as a teacher in your District. Although I can give you a written record of where it was, now I understand that it is situational. You expect me to be truthful in this review, but I can’t be sincere when it comes to parents knowing the basic well-being of their child. It is mind-boggling.
Tapia went so far as to ask the district if she was asking her to lie. Surprisingly, the answer was honest.
“I also made sure to clarify with the district personnel who were sitting next to me.” I looked at them and asked, “Are you asking us to lie to our parents?” They replied, “Yes, it’s the law.”
It would be considered acceptable business practice in any other industry to lie to stakeholders. How did we get to this point?
Tapia is represented by the Pacific Justice Institute and is waiting for approval to file a suit against the school district.
This is an important story and should be shared widely. What other lies can the state force educators to tell parents about their children? It will end where?
Tapia and other people like him will not stand up. The state will replace their parents. Although you may think that this is absurd, five years ago you would have thought that a man could just say he was a woman to join an elite college’s women’s swimming team.
Officially, we are upside down.
Tapia’s Instagram story can be viewed. You can also check out Tapia’s interview on Just Listen to Yourself.
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