California school forced to pay out $360,000 to Christian teacher fired over refusal to use preferred pronouns

Tapia and her lawyer maintained that she had been fired "because of her religious beliefs."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
A now-former teacher in California has reached a $360,000 settlement with the school district from which she was fired for refusing to adhere to directives pushing far-left gender ideology.

Jessica Tapia, a staunch conservative Christian, had her contract terminated by the Jurupa Unified School District in 2023 and filed a lawsuit against administrators a short time later.

According to Fox News, the settlement was finalized on Tuesday and while Tapia will receive monetary compensation, the JUSD refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing on its part.

"Ms. Tapia is no longer an employee of the District and has agreed and understands that she may not seek reemployment with the District," a JUSD spokesperson said in a statement. "The settlement certainly does not state or prove any illegal action or discrimination by the District. The District continues to deny any illegal action or discrimination against Ms. Tapia."

Nonetheless, Tapia and her lawyer, Julianne Fleischer of Advocates for Faith & Freedom, maintained that she had been fired "because of her religious beliefs."

Tapia was first reprimanded in September 2022, after students tracked her down on Instagram and reported a number of her posts promoting Christian conservative values to administrators. She was placed on administrative leave, and over the following months, took part in three meetings with district officials.

In the second meeting, she was asked to comply with a "Plan of Assistance and Directives" that asked her to "lie to parents about their children’s gender identity, refer to students by their preferred pronouns, refrain from expressing her religious beliefs with students or on her social media, and allow students to use the bathroom or locker room that matched their preferred sex."

Tapia refused, citing her religious worldview, and in a third meeting, was told that the district could not accommodate her beliefs. She was subsequently fired.

"I could have saved [my career] by just saying yes and bowing down to these directives," she said at the time, "but, you know, I chose to realize that, you know, God is in control."


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