Elementary teacher suspended over sexual orientation talk with students

MARCH 28, 2018

After receiving complaints from parents, an art teacher at a Texas elementary school was suspended after she reportedly talked about her sexual orientation with her students.

Stacy Bailey, a teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary in Arlington, Texas, was suspended with pay last year. In a Tuesday statement, the Mansfield Independent School District said that it does not usually comment on personnel matters, but that misinformation surrounding the issue had “created a disruption” to the “education environment” at the elementary school.

According to the statement, Bailey was suspended 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.”

Conversely, the statement noted, “Parents have the right to control the conversation with their children, especially as it relates to religion, politics, sex/sexual orientation, etc.”

After the district received complaints, Bailey was warned but she “refused to follow administration’s directions regarding age-appropriate conversation with students.”

The district also noted that Bailey was not suspended because she had pushed for LGBT language to be included in the district’s nondiscrimination policy.

Bailey’s attorney, Giana Ortiz, said on Tuesday that the “entire ordeal” began when Bailey spoke to her students about her family, which included her wife, the Dallas Morning News reported.

“The District appears to speak for Stacy when it states that she ‘insists it is her right and that it is age appropriate’ to discuss matters including ongoing discussions about her own sexuality,” Ortiz said.
“This is absolutely false. Further, she never received directives to change her behavior—and never refused to follow any directive.”

Ortiz alleged that the school district attempted to “silence” those who have advocated for Bailey to be reinstated and said she was “shocked” that the school district decided to openly address the issue.

Bailey was selected in 2016 as “Teacher of the Year” at the Charlotte Anderson Elementary School.