Fired California teacher who said she would out trans students to parents files lawsuit
A former teacher in California who who says she was fired after saying she would out trans students to their parents has filed a lawsuit against the school.
Former gym teacher Jessica Tapia claims she was fired from her position at Jurupa Valley High School after she refused to abide by state regulations that protect trans students from being outed to their parents against their will.
She has since filed a discrimination lawsuit against the school, claiming that officials dismissed her for her “Christian beliefs.”
The lawsuit, filed last Wednesday (3 May), argues that Tapia and other faculty should be able to “maintain their personal beliefs without fear of losing their job.”
Legal representative Mariah Gondeiro said: “We need more educators like her who grasp the fact that parents are partners and the final arbiters of their children, not obstacles to work around.”
The lawsuit comes despite clear-cut legislation in California that prohibits teachers from outing students without their consent.
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Signed into law in 2013, Assembly Bill 1266 allows transgender students to participate in activities, facilities, and programs according to their gender identity.
The law also implements further protections for transgender students on top of anti-discrimination laws already in place in both state and US-wide legislation.
While there have been several attempts to repeal the bill, it has remained in law for almost a decade and continues to do so at the time of reporting.
Despite this, Tapia still believes that her religious beliefs extend to outing trans students against their wishes.
Her trans views became known the school district in July 2022 after several social media posts were uncovered.
Tapia had also been accused by district officials of “proselytising during P.E. class” and refusing to refer to students by their preferred pronouns.
The district ordered Tapia to begin abiding by the state’s policy on transgender students, which the lawsuit alleges caused her “to suffer severe mental and emotional anguish.”
After she refused to do so, district officials fired Tapia from her position.
Since then, she has appeared on numerous right-wing media channels, including Fox News, where she has continued to argue that her religious beliefs were disregarded.
“It is the story of every parent whose first priority is protecting their children.”
In its own statement regarding the controversy, Jurupa Unified School District wrote that all students and staff have a “right to privacy” under US and California law.
“While individuals may elect to disclose their personal information to the public, the district is prohibited from doing so.
“The district’s actions related to Ms Tapia were based on its obligations under current state and federal law which protects student privacy and requires the District to provide a discrimination-free learning environment to students.”
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