Teacher Who Showed Pic of 'Future Wife' Files Discrimination Suit

Gay teacher Stacy Bailey says she was suspended for mentioning partner
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2018 8:30 AM CDT
Stacy Bailey's suit asks for her to be reinstated to her old school.   (Getty Images/skynesher)

(Newser) – A Texas teacher has filed a suit against her school district and two district officials, claiming she's been discriminated against for one reason: "Plaintiff is lesbian/gay and was born that way." The teacher, per the New York Times, is 31-year-old Stacy Bailey, who alleges in her complaint (seen on BuzzFeed) that her troubles started after an introductory slideshow last August to her new fourth-grade students at Arlington's Charlotte Anderson Elementary School. Included in the slides, per a release, were pics of her best friend, parents—and Julie Vazquez, who Bailey noted was her future wife (the two married in March). Soon after, Bailey was told by the principal a parent had complained about her "homosexual agenda," both for her presentation and for talking about the artist Jasper Johns and his partner, Robert Rauschenberg. Bailey's suit alleges that parent recruited others to complain about her.

In September, Bailey—who's twice won teacher of the year during her 10 years with the Mansfield Independent School District—was placed on paid leave, the release notes; in October, she was asked to resign and refused. In April, Bailey's contract was renewed, but in a May 1 letter, the school district reassigned her to a high school, spurring her suit. Mansfield ISD, meanwhile, says in a statement Bailey's "open sexual orientation" was never an issue until "her actions in the classroom changed," noting Bailey may have broken district rules that "teachers shall not use the classroom to transmit personal belief regarding political or sectarian issues." Vazquez calls the whole thing "mind-boggling." "Our family has a right to talk about our family just the same as any other family," she tells the Times. Bailey's suit seeks reinstatement at her old school, a jury trial, and possible damages.

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