‘From the Devil’: Christian Teacher Fired for Refusing to Lie to Parents About Their Kids’ Gender Transitions

By Nancy Flory Published on February 15, 2023

Jessica Tapias, a California PE teacher, was fired for adhering to her Christian beliefs, Fox News reported. Tapias’ school district instituted a policy of hiding students’ gender transitions from their parents, and lying to them if needed. When it came to obeying the policies or remaining faithful to Christ, she stayed true to her beliefs.

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. Am I going to obey the district in the directive [sic] 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.

You Can’t Lie? You Can’t Teach

Fox News Digital received a copy of a letter from Jurupa Unified School District Superintendent Trenton Hansen to Tapias. In the letter, the district said they could not accommodate Tapias’ religious beliefs because her beliefs prohibited her from withholding information on gender transitions from students’ parents, Fox News reported. “Consequently, the District will release you from your employment effective at the end of the day on January 31, 2023,” the letter stated.

I don’t believe in my faith that that’s how God’s calling us to love by affirming those lies and confusion. 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 notice, which was signed by assistant superintendent of human resources Daniel Brooks, said that since Tapias could not lie to parents she could not continue to teach in the district. “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 … [t]he 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.”

Tapias also refused to let boys in the girls’ locker room, which was permitted by the district.

Lies and Confusion from the Devil

“I don’t believe in my faith that that’s how God’s calling us to love by affirming those lies and confusion,” said Tapias. “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 school district told Fox News Digital in a statement that it did not discriminate against Tapias based on her religious beliefs.

The District Discriminated but Denies It

“The District denies the allegations raised by Ms. Tapia[s]. 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.”

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The district did not answer Fox News Digital when they asked about requiring teachers to lie to parents about students’ gender identities. The district said in the statement that

The District is required to comply with all state and federal laws, including the California Education Code which guarantees a student’s right to participate in sex-segregated school activities and to use facilities consistent with the student’s gender identity, regardless of the gender listed on the student’s records. The District is also obligated to protect a student’s right to privacy which is guaranteed by state and federal antidiscrimination laws and the California Constitution. The District will continue to protect the rights of all students and staff as required by law.

Tapias has retained an attorney regarding her firing. “We are waiting for a right to sue letter from the [U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], and then we will proceed from there.”

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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