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Teacher fired for sticking to her Christian beliefs just made a California district pay

A California teacher was accused of misconduct and fired last year after refusing to adhere to LGBT activists’ radical gender dogma at the expense of her Christian faith.

Jessica Tapia previously taught PE, but last week she taught the Jurupa Unified School District that trampling on Americans’ free exercise of religion and freedom of speech can still be costly even in a Democratic-dominated state.

Background

In recent years, JUSD in Riverside County has fully embraced gender ideology and enshrined it in its policies.

For example, the district considers a refusal to address a student “by a name and pronouns consistent with the student’s gender identity” as harassment. Excluding a man from the girls’ toilets or from participating in girls’ activities also qualifies as harassment.

Parents Defending Education highlighted that the JUSD also has a policy that leaves parents in the dark about their children’s so-called gender identity.

“According to the guidelines, Ms. Tapia lies to parents about their children’s gender identity.”

“A student’s intersex, nonbinary, transgender, or gender nonconforming status is the student’s private information,” the policy says. “The district will disclose the information to others only with the student’s prior written consent, except when the disclosure is otherwise required by law or when the district has compelling evidence that disclosure is necessary to preserve the physical or mental well-being of the student. ”

This is contrary to the California Department of Education, which states that “disclosing that a student is transgender without the student’s consent may violate California anti-discrimination law.”

When it comes to a JUSD student’s attempt to reject reality and pose as a member of the opposite sex, “the compliance officer may discuss with the student the need to identify the intersex, nonbinary, disclose the student’s transgender or gender nonconforming status or gender identity. gender expression to the student’s parents/guardians and/or others, including other students, faculty, or other adults on campus.”

This policy, which serves to undermine parents’ rights, is the norm in California, where cross-dressing men have been able to legally invade girls’ sports, programs and restrooms since at least 2013.

Refusal to live by lies

According to her May 2023 complaint, Tapia had worked at the JUSD in various capacities since 2014. Despite apparently having a good relationship with parents, students and teachers alike, she received a notice of unprofessional conduct on September 30, 2022.

The lawsuit alleges that Tapia was accused of posting offensive content on her public Instagram account, referencing her faith during conversations with students and expressing controversial opinions on issues related to gender identity.

Tapia has made no secret of her religious views on marriage, cross-dressing and sexual orientation, anchoring her understanding in a constitutionally protected Biblical worldview.

‘God created two genders: male and female.’

In the wake of the misconduct notice, Tapia was reportedly presented with “A Plan of Assistance and Directives,” which required her complicity in promoting gender ideology in the district and undermining parental rights.

“According to the guidelines, Ms. Tapia lies to parents about their children’s gender identity, refers to students by their preferred pronouns, refrains from expressing her religious beliefs with students or on her social media, and Allow students to use the bathroom or locker room that suits them. their preferred gender,” the complaint said.

Unable to comply based on her Christian beliefs and completely unwilling to live by lies, Tapia requested accommodation from the district.

After all, she “believes that God defines human sexuality, and that men and women are created in the image of God,” the complaint says. Furthermore, she claims that “God created two genders: male and female.”

She was denied shelter and then canned.

Tapia indicated that after contacting Charlie Kirk, CEO of Turning Point USA, and Pastor Jack Hibbs, the Christian teacher associated with the pro bono law firm Advocates for Faith and Freedom, she subsequently sued the JUSD.

Mariah Gondeiro, then vice president and general counsel of Advocates for Faith and Freedom, claimed that “Jessica Tapia was not fired for any misconduct, but she was fired because of her Christian beliefs. This is a clear violation of our constitutional rights. ”

“If the school district’s actions were legal, no teacher of faith would be qualified to serve as a public school teacher.”

The lawsuit — which ultimately named the district, Superintendent Trenton Hansen and Assistant Superintendent Daniel Brooks as defendants — alleged that Tapia was deprived of both the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech. Additionally, it accused the district of violating the Due Process Clause, Title VII and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Triumphant

Although the JUSD refuses to admit wrongdoing, it approved an out-of-court settlement on May 13. The district will accordingly pay Tapia $285,000 and $75,000 for her attorney fees.

“Today’s settlement reminds us that religious freedom is protected regardless of your career,” Julianne Fleischer, legal counsel for Advocates for Faith and Freedom, said in a statement. “If the school district’s actions were legal, no teacher of faith would be qualified to serve as a public school teacher.”

“Jessica’s story is one of faithful courage. She fought back to ensure her school district was held accountable and that no other teacher has to succumb to this type of discrimination,” Fleischer added.

“I want teachers to be confident that the best we can do for students is to teach truth, not deception.”

“What happened to me could happen to anyone, and I want the next teacher to know that standing up for what is right is worth it,” Tapia said. “Across the country, we see teachers’ freedom of speech and religion being violated by policies that require them to abandon their morals. I want teachers to have confidence that the best thing we can do for students is to teach truth, not deception.”

Under the terms of the settlement, both parties will refrain from bad-mouthing each other or taking further legal action. In addition, Tapia agreed not to seek another job with the district.

Tapia seems to have found a calling beyond helping the JUSD hide students’ confusion from their parents. She has joined forces with Advocates for Faith and Freedom to launch “Teachers Don’t Lie.”

According to the website, Teacher’s Don’t Lie is “to support teachers of faith who are feeling the weight of the darkness that has infiltrated the education system. We believe that teachers of faith have the right to be part of the public education system without sacrificing their skills sacrifice.” beliefs and truth.”

The group serves to equip teachers with the constitutional understanding and legal support to stand firm when their religious beliefs are targeted by radical school districts.

Jacquie Paul, a spokeswoman for JUSD, suggested the settlement was a “compromise of a disputed claim,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“The decision to settle this case was made … in the best interest of the students so that the district can continue to dedicate all of its resources and efforts to educate and support its student population, regardless of their protected class,” Paul said. .

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