California Teacher Fired for Refusing to Lie to Parents About Student Gender Identity

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A California teacher has been fired from her tenured position after she refused to follow her district’s policy of keeping the gender identities and “preferred pronouns” of students a secret from district parents.


Jessica Tapia has been a tenured physical education teacher at Jurupa Valley High School (JVHS) in the Jurupa Valley School District (JVSD) for over six years. Last summer, she was flagged by her district and received a warning from administrators after several students sifted through her personal social media and reported her for “unsafe” conduct.

Tapia is a committed Christian and her social media posts reflect her beliefs about many issues, including political issues surrounding gender ideology. In a coordinated campaign, some students began not only monitoring her account and sometimes commenting on her personal posts, but also digging into older posts made over the years.

The mother of three was allowed to return to her position in the fall, but after taking some time off for medical leave, was forced to participate in a “religious exemption” review regarding the complaints before she could return to work for good. Unfortunately, her job did not survive the review when she indicated she could not, in good conscience, comply with rules requiring her to hide the gender identity of students from their parents, nor would she be allowing “male genitalia” in the locker rooms with girls.

She was fired in January for failing to comply with gender identity directives. Below is a partial snapshot of the letter Tapia received from administrators.

Portion of a letter from Jurupa Valley School District to teacher Jessica Tapia

Tapia says the complaints lodged by students were largely directed at her faith.

I interviewed the California native for my podcast, Just Listen to Yourself, and asked if any parents had complained about her to the district. She said they had not received any parent complaints to her knowledge, adding she’d never even been formally presented with a situation in which a student directly asked her to address them by a different name or pronoun. These were all hypotheticals.

“Some of the allegations, the evidence they submitted for them, were literally Bible verses that I posted. There were some like that, and then there were some where, obviously on my social media I voice how I live my life and my opinions and my beliefs. And so some of the allegations were that I was not calling students by their preferred gender or pronouns. Which was very interesting too because I had never had a student come to me…with, ‘Mrs.Tapia, I would like you to call me this.’ I’ve never even been in that scenario, yet they were making these claims.”

No parents have come forward with complaints, to Tapia’s knowledge so far. It seems not only was JVHS hiding the gender identities of students from their parents, they were even hiding complaints about a tenured teacher from their parents.

Tapia claims almost no one knew what was going on with her employment. She had simply been let go and a substitute put in her place.


“I’m not aware that the parents were made aware. I’m pretty sure it was just – I left, they slid a sub in and that was it. I know a close coworker there, the other female PE teacher at the high school, she was even unsure why I was gone.”

As a Christian, the high school teacher says she simply could not follow a directive of dishonesty.

“I pointed out to them – you literally asked me as a teacher of your District to uphold honesty. I mean, I can show you in writing where you’ve listed that, but now I’m learning it’s situational. You want me only to be honest in this situation [at this review] but when it comes to parents being aware of the basic well-being and knowledge of their child, I cannot be honest. It’s absolutely mind-boggling to me.”

Tapia even went so far as to ask directly if the district was asking her to lie. The response was shockingly honest.


“I made sure to clarify, too, with this district personnel that were sitting across from me. I looked them in the eye and I said, ‘Are you asking me to lie to parents?’ and they said, ‘Yes. It’s the law.’ “

In what other industry would it be acceptable business practice to lie to stakeholders? How have we reached this point where not only is it official policy, but a person trusted with teaching truths can be fired for refusing to be a liar?


Tapia has legal representation with the Pacific Justice Institute and is awaiting the go-ahead to file a lawsuit against the school district.

This is a story that should be spread far and wide. If the state can compel teachers to lie to parents about their own children, what else can they compel educators to lie about? Where will it end?

If more people like Tapia don’t stand up, it will end in the state replacing parents altogether. You may say that is hyperbolic, but five years ago would you have imagined a man could simply say he is a woman and then join the women’s swim team at an elite college?

We are officially in the upside down.

View Tapia’s story on her Instagram page and check out our interview on Just Listen to Yourself, available wherever you find your podcasts.


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A post shared by Jessica Tapia (@jess_sayinnn)


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