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Christian Public School Teacher No Longer has to Keep Secrets from Parents or Use Preferred Pronouns

A San Diego federal court ruling last year regarding religious liberty and parental rights is making some school districts rethink policies that force teachers to keep secrets from parents and use the preferred pronouns of their students. Constitutional attorney Dean Broyles has spent the last few years winning settlements from California healthcare employers who refused to accommodate the religious faith of medical professionals who objected to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Now he is turning his attention to Christian public school teachers whose jobs are threatened if they don’t comply with the district’s rules about student privacy and gender identity.

School districts throughout California, including Escondido Unified School District (EUSD), have implemented policies requiring teachers to keep secret from parents the gender identity of their students. For instance, Escondido’s AR 5145.3 mandates that educators keep parents in the dark about their child’s “gender identity” in school. This includes the confidential use of a student’s chosen name or pronouns.

Ramona Garcia, a Christian educator at an EUSD middle school, holds strong biblical convictions on human sexuality and refuses to hide information about a student’s “gender identity” and use pronouns that do not align with a student’s biological sex. Misinformed by a union representative about her rights as a Christian teacher in a government role, Ramona sought the expertise of Broyles, the president of the National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP). She asked NCLP to advocate for her right to a religious accommodation concerning EUSD’s “gender identity” policies. Following a legal demand letter from NCLP, EUSD convened a meeting and agreed to make accommodations for Ramona’s beliefs concerning human sexuality and parents’ rights.   

A Challenge to Teachers

Emboldened by this success, Broyles is now issuing a challenge to Christian teachers throughout the state. 

“Today, I am calling on all faithful teachers across California to find their spiritual spine and take a clear, bold, and courageous stand for their religious civil liberties,” he wrote. “California is now on notice. Teachers with religious beliefs about human sexuality that conflict with the state’s misguided sexual orthodoxy will no longer be forced to choose between their faith and their jobs. No longer can they be threatened to cower and bow down to or submit to this twisted gender idol out of fear of losing their employment so that they can continue to feed their families.”

“If we are going to remain a free republic, public educators must never be forced by the state to live by such pernicious lies, including the insane idea that minor children, whose pre-frontal cortexes are not fully developed, should be able to secretly choose their gender and start transitioning without full parental knowledge and consent,” Broyles continued. “It’s crucial for schools and teachers to involve parents in discussions and decisions affecting their children’s health, safety, and welfare, rather than keep secrets that undermine trust and endanger children.”

One of the reasons school districts are more willing to give religious accommodation for teachers has to do with the recent decision in Mirabelli v. Olson. Federal Judge Roger Benitez issued a significant ruling against EUSD’s gender policy, AR 5145.3, recognizing its constitutional violations. Judge Benitez’s comprehensive and compelling decision highlighted a “trifecta of harm” that the policy inflicted on EUSD’s parents, students, and teachers. According to the court, the policy infringed upon the teachers’ First Amendment rights to freely exercise their religion in the workplace and breached the Fourteenth Amendment rights of parents to oversee their children’s upbringing, education, and care.

Several months prior to this ruling, California teacher Jessica Tapias was not given a religious accommodation and lost her job for refusing to conceal her students’ “gender identities” from their parents. Tapia sued the Jurupa Unified School District in Riverside County for religious discrimination. Hopefully, this federal ruling against Escondido will set a precedent for the rights of teachers like Tapia across the state. 

Let’s Stand Up for Parental Rights

Parents do not lose their rights when their children enter a school building. The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently affirmed that parents have an inherent right to oversee the upbringing, education, and care of their minor children. Even in the predominantly liberal state of California, the idea that parents should be notified about their child’s mental health, including their gender dysphoria at school, shouldn’t be controversial. Recent surveys have shown that a substantial majority of voters from various political backgrounds in California support the idea of parental notification.

“The sanctity of the family unit and the paramount role parents play in the moral and spiritual development of their children cannot be overstated,” said CFC Vice President Greg Burt. “California schools must reaffirm the importance of transparency and cooperation between educational institutions and families, and at the very least, offer religious accommodations to teachers who do not want to participate in hiding pertinent information from parents. We need more faithful teachers like Garcia and Tapia to take a bold stand against these gravely immoral and unconstitutional policies that infringe upon teachers’ and parents’ rights.”


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