A Texas teacher who was forced out of the job she loved for showing students a photo of the woman she was going to marry has settled with the school district for $100,000. Stacy Bailey was suspended from her position as an art teacher at Arlington's Charlotte Anderson Elementary School in 2017 after introducing herself to fourth-grade students with photos of family members and her fiancee, causing a parent to complain that she was promoting "the homosexual agenda." The district agreed to a settlement after a judge ruled the suspension violated her 14th Amendment right to equal protection, NBC reports. Bailey—who married Julie Vasquez two years ago—was transferred to a high school four months after she filed a lawsuit in April 2018.
Before the suspension, Bailey had worked at the school for 10 years and was named Teacher of the Year twice. As part of the settlement, the Mansfield Independent School District has agreed to wipe the suspension from the record and train staff members on LGBTQ issues. "If a district is thinking about bullying or shaming a gay teacher out of their job, I hope they remember my name," Bailey tells the New York Times. "And I hope they think twice." She is donating $10,000 from the settlement to a group that supports gay students. Texas does not have a law banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, but "the judge's ruling is clear: that gay teachers are protected by the constitution," her lawyer says. (Read more LGBT stories.)