A California teacher is speaking out after suing her former school district, alleging it discriminated against her after she was fired for refusing to hide kids' gender transitions from their parents.
Jessica Tapia, the Christian teacher who was fired, joined "Fox & Friends" alongside Advocates for Faith & Freedom Vice President Mariah Gondeiro to discuss the lawsuit and why she decided to take action after losing her job.
"It really comes down to the fact of the matter that… no teacher should have to lie to parents really about anything. No teacher should have to lie to their students about anything, and really no teacher should have to lie to themselves and deny their own beliefs and morals to save their salary," Tapia told Lawrence Jones Friday.
Tapia, a former high school phys ed teacher in Riverside, is suing Jurupa Unified School District superintendent Trenton Hansen and Assistant Superintendent Daniel Brooks, alleging she was deprived of her free exercise of religion and freedom of speech.
The lawsuit, filed on Tapia’s behalf by Advocates for Faith & Freedom in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, also alleges a violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, a violation of Title VIII and retaliation in violation of the First Amendment.
The filing says Tapia was fired for alleged misconduct after the district accused her of posting offensive content on her Instagram account, referencing her faith during conversations with students and improperly expressing her opinions on issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community.
And even though she was granted a religious accomodation meeting, it was ultimately unsuccessful in granting her the religious protections she was seeking.
"They essentially presented me with three directives that I voiced to them I could not comply with because they were against my beliefs," Tapia said. "That's when they said, 'Well, then we'll hold a religious accommodation meeting and see if and how we can accommodate you.' And so I went through the meeting."
"They questioned me up and down, left and right on my faith, and at the end of that, they decided we cannot accommodate your religious beliefs. Therefore, we're releasing you from employment," she continued.
The district ultimately fired her back in January.
Gondeiro called the school's action a "strong violation of the free exercise clause," and the "free speech clause."
"We have a clear religious discrimination here because they retaliated against her, because she would not agree to policies that violated her religious rights as well as agreeing to policies that compelled her to affirm beliefs that she didn't agree with, such as pronouns, as well as violating her viewpoint, encouraging other teachers' viewpoints and encouraging them and allowing them to express their viewpoints in classrooms and on their social media, but discriminating against Ms. Tapia for expressing her viewpoints because they didn't go along with the school's ideology," she said.
Jones asked her about her confidence level in Tapia's case within the context of California's judicial system, noting the far-left politics of the state.
But Gondeiro expressed her confidence in the process, reiterating the "clear" nature of the district's alleged infringement on Tapia's Constitutional rights.
"The Constitution is very clear," Gondeiro said. "You cannot discriminate against individuals because of their religious beliefs, and we have facts that are clearly outlined in the complaint that show that they retaliated against her for her beliefs, but did not do so with other teachers for expressing their viewpoints."
"The Supreme Court has also been very clear when it comes to the free exercise of religion, and so I'm always skeptical with California, but the reality is, is they have to follow the United States Supreme Court, and we feel confident the Supreme Court supports our case."
The school district responded to request for comment saying, "Jurupa Unified School District has not been served with a lawsuit from Ms. Tapia. The District will defend against any lawsuit filed."
Fox News' Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.