Texas Art Teacher Was Suspended for Telling Her Students She Was Gay

It may be 2018, yet apparently it’s still possible for a lesbian public school teacher to be suspended from her job for acknowledging her sexuality to her students.

Stacy Bailey, a 31-year-old art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary school in Arlington, Texas, was put on indefinite administrative leave in September after telling her class that she has a wife. The suspension appears to stem from a single complaint from a parent.

Sign the petition: Tell Mansfield Independent School District to give Stacy Bailey her job back.

A month prior to her suspension, Bailey had also asked school district officials to consider revising their anti-discrimination guidelines to include safeguards for gay teachers and staff.

A representative for the school district said that Bailey was not suspended for being gay or seeking LGBTQ protections at work, but because she “insists that it is her right and that it is age appropriate for her to have ongoing discussions with elementary-aged students about her own sexual orientation, the sexual orientation of artists and their relationships with other gay artists.”

Bailey’s attorney, Giana Ortiz, says the school district’s version of the story is incorrect. “She never received directives to change her behavior, and never refused to follow any directive,” Ortiz stated.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that even if the school district’s account were entirely true, it still wouldn’t warrant Bailey being suspended. It’s not inappropriate for children to know that gay people exist.

Besides, plenty of other parents in the school community have jumped to Bailey’s defense to sing her praises as a passionate art teacher. “As a parent, we ask a lot of our children and our teacher, but there are two things we hope for the most – one is a teacher whose love of the subject inspires students, and the other is a teacher who cares deeply for our children,” said parent Florence Bruner. “Stacey Bailey is without question both of these.”

Bailey won teacher of the year at the school twice, including in 2017, and is considered a favorite among the student body. Local news outlets have spoken to her young students who say they don’t remember her ever discussing sexual orientation in her class. Some students even expressed that they were unaware she was a lesbian until her suspension became a news story.

Given the accounts from school community members, it sure seems like the suspension is a punitive action against Bailey because of sexuality or desire to protect LGBTQ worker rights at school. For her to still be out of the classroom six months later without sufficient explanation as to why should raise all sorts of red flags.

Take Action

Now that this story has garnered national media attention, the time is especially right to demand action. Tell the Mansfield Independent School District to put Bailey back to work immediately by signing this Care2 petition.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

62 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thank you!

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DAVID fleming
Dave fleming7 months ago

NOTED

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R7 months ago

Thanks for posting

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Roberto MARINI
Roberto MARINI7 months ago

It was a great pleasure to read this article, congratulations to those who posted it

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DAVID fleming
Dave fleming7 months ago

TFS

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LF F
LF F7 months ago

I work with teens. And I don't know what all her conversation was with her students. But honestly, it's not a good idea to share much personal information with your patients or students for multiple reasons.

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One Heart inc
One Heart inc7 months ago

Thanks!

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Ellie M
Ellie M7 months ago

Noted

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Jaime J
Jaime J7 months ago

Thank you!!

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Theresa K
Theresa K7 months ago

I'd bet everything I own that if she said "I have a husband" no one would have cared.

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