Education /

California Teacher Says She Was Fired for Not Hiding Student's 'Gender Identity' From Parents

A California teacher says that she was fired for refusing to hide her student’s “gender identities” from parents.

Jessica Tapia, a former Jurupa Valley High School teacher, is speaking out about the circumstances surrounding her firing.

According to Tapia, she refused to comply with a 2014 state law that prohibits teachers from discussing a child’s gender identity or sexual preferences with parents — unless the student consents first.

“I said, ‘Are you asking me to lie to parents?’ And they said ‘Yes,'” Tapia said while holding a press conference outside the high school, according to a report from ABC 7.

Tapia said that she believes parents have a right to be involved in what is going on in their children’s lives.

“We are talking about minors. Their brain is not fully developed. The decision-making portal in that brain is not fully developed, and they need their parents at this time for everything,” Tapia said. “Everything they’re going through, mentally, emotionally physically, spiritually, you name it.”

Tapia said that she plans to sue the school for wrongful termination, as they attempted to force her to violate her Christian beliefs.

Riverside Assemblyman Bill Essayli is introducing new legislation to protect parental rights in education. He stood with Tapia during the press conference.

“Concealing information from parents is not only wrong, it’s dangerous and harmful to the emotional and physical safety of trans minors,” Essayli said during the press conference.

Essayli said his proposed legislation will “reset the appropriate relationship between educators and parents, and reaffirm that children are the domain of their parents, not the government.”

The Jurupa Unified School District said in a statement that “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.”

“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,” the statement continued.

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