Inland Empire gym teacher fired for anti-LGBTQ ‘religious beliefs’ gets $360K

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An Inland Empire gym teacher who cited her religious beliefs when refusing to comply with her school district’s LGBTQ policies is getting a hefty payout.

Jessica Tapia will receive $360,000 in a settlement with the Jurupa Unified School District in Riverside County, as reported by The Press-Enterprise.

She was placed on administrative leave in 2022 and fired in 2023 after “refusing to abide by state law prohibiting discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming students,” as reported by Patch. Tapia said the policies are incompatible with her Christian faith.

“I chose to stand for truth and my religious beliefs by informing my school district that I would not comply with their directives that would require me to lie to my students about their gender, lie to their parents about that information and allow boys into my girls’ locker room,” Tapia said in a social media post announcing the settlement.

In a statement to The Press-Enterprise, district spokesperson Jacqueline Paul said “the district has not admitted any fault or wrongdoing as part of this settlement.”

“The decision to settle this case was made in conjunction with the district’s self-insurance administrators and in the best interest of the students, such that the district would be able to dedicate all of its resources and efforts to its student population regardless of their protected class,” the spokesperson added.

Jessica Tapia speaks at the California Policy Center and Protection of the Educational Rights of Kids event “A Line in the Sand: A Rally for Parental Rights” at Rancho Madera Community Park in Simi Valley, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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