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The Fight for True Education: Refusal to Deceive Parents

The Fight for True Education (full series)
A Brief History | Academic Transparency
Signs of Hope | Refusal to Deceive Parents

Refusal to Deceive Parents

My last interview was with Jessica Tapia, a former California public school PE teacher recently fired for refusing to allow biological males in the girl’s bathroom and to hide pronoun changes from parents. Her story may seem like a bleak interview to end this article, but on the contrary, her story is one of hope, streams of support, and bravery.

She is a teacher that stood up to the push by school administrators, left-leaning human rights groups, and the teachers unions to keep parents in the dark about pronoun changes happening at school. “We can’t accommodate you for your religious beliefs and have decided to release you from your position,” were the words in the email she received from her district.

Students had reported her for Instagram posts about Pride onesies in Target, and those allegations ultimately led to her firing. Even though she was a union member, the union leaders left her alone. One union leader stated to her, “We know a lot of Christian teachers who make this work (the hiding of pronoun changes, etc.), just compartmentalize your beliefs for 8 hours that day,” The union leaders wanted Jessica to compromise on her religious beliefs and comply to the “gender-affirming” demands to keep her position. They certainly did not advocate for her rights in this fight.

As Tapia states, “The district and the union wanted to strip me of my religious beliefs that clash with their gender-affirming policies.” She explained that the union leaders wanted her to do a “three-way lie”:

Lying to students about who they were born to be, lying to parents if I had a student that came to me with confusion about their gender, and then lying to myself about what I believe to be good, right and true. All the union leaders did was sit with me in the meetings, and then when I was fired, they offered the union lawyer who literally said, ‘You might be better off at a Christian school.’”

Teachers like Jessica cannot rely on teachers unions to do the advocacy work paid for by her monthly union dues, which is to be on her side. Instead, she was met with passive-aggressive guilt tripping to cave to her administrator’s demands. She chose to stand firm.

What gives me hope about her story is the amount of support she has received after her firing. The Pacific Justice Institute is representing her legal case at no cost to her; she has had several interviews with many different prominent conservatives to share her story, parents showed up at school board meetings to call for her reinstatement, and she has received thousands of dollars in donations so she can continue to provide for her family. Even though teachers are losing power over what they can and can’t do in their classrooms due to pressure from the radical left, there is still power in the people that will support them in their fight to stand up for their beliefs. Jessica Tapia’s story is one of bravery and victory. You can find our complete interview here.

Hope for Education

The fight for true education in America is not over; it has only just begun. There has been an awakening to the stranglehold the Left has had on the education of our nation’s children, and now it is time to reverse the damage that has been done. Our nation’s children are more depressed than ever, more illiterate than ever, and more out of shape than ever. If public education had a report card, the grade would be a D- on the verge of failure.

But there is still hope for education in America. Whether it is parents taking their child’s education into their own hands, nonprofits like the Goldwater Institute tirelessly fighting for academic transparency and school choice laws, or grassroots organizations like the Parents for Equal Rights defeating the well-funded Yes campaign to bring back legal discrimination in California. It’s also brave teachers like Jessica Tapia putting her tenured job at risk, then losing it because she would not comply with violating basic parental rights in the classroom. Instead, she is using her story to enact change and build an army behind her. Even the whining statements by the teacher-mafia leader, I mean union leader, Randi Weingarten is a sign of hope. My question to you is, what will you do to join this fight?

This article was first published in the July/August 2023 issue of Capital Research magazine.

Kali Fontanilla

Kali is serving as CRC’s Senior fellow, particularly focusing on topics related to K-12 public education. She has 15 years of experience as a credentialed educator working in public and…
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