JURUPA VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A former Jurupa Valley High School teacher is speaking out after she says she was fired for not hiding students' gender transitions and identities from parents.
Jessica Tapia was fired for refusing to follow a state law that forbids teachers from talking to parents about their child's gender choices without consent from the student.
"And I said, 'Are you asking me to lie to parents?' And they said 'Yes,'" Tapia said outside Jurupa Valley High.
AB 1266 was passed in 2014. It says schools can't tell parents about their children's gender identity without first asking the student.
Assemblyman Bill Essayli from Riverside is now introducing new legislation. He says he wants to protect parental rights so parents know what's going on with their children.
"Concealing information from parents is not only wrong, it's dangerous and harmful to the emotional and physical safety of trans minors," Essayli said, standing next to Tapia during a press conference.
Tapia said parents need to be involved during this time.
"We are talking about minors. Their brain is not fully developed. The decision-making portal in that brain is not fully developed, and they need their parents at this time for everything," she said. "Everything they're going through, mentally, emotionally physically, spiritually, you name it."
Tapia is planning to sue the school district for wrongful termination.
The Jurupa Unified School District sent a statement that said, in part: "...all students and staff enjoy the right to privacy under the Constitutions of the United States and California. While individuals may elect to disclose their personal information to the public, the District is prohibited from doing so."
"The District's actions related to Ms. Tapia were based on its obligations under current state and federal law which protects student privacy and requires the District to provide a discrimination-free learning environment to students."
"The law will reset the appropriate relationship between educators and parents, and reaffirm that children are the domain of their parents, not the government," Essayli said.
Some parents at the school think they need to know what their children are doing.
"Parents should absolutely be involved in all the decisions that their kids make," parent Peggy Bigby Lamberth said. "Right now, kids are influenced by the media, by their friends, by just a lot of mixed messages."