A Texas Teacher Was Reportedly Placed On Leave After Discussing Her Sexual Orientation

Stacy Bailey, an elementary school teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary in Mansfield, Texas, has been on paid administrative leave since September, allegedly due to comments she’s made in the classroom directed toward her sexual orientation.

Bailey, who is openly gay, has been teaching at the school since 2008. After reportedly addressing school district members in an attempt to initiate changes to Mansfield’s anti-discrimination policy, which currently lacks direct mention of LGBTQ rights, Bailey was placed on leave with little explanation.

In a statement by Mansfield Independent School District put out on Tuesday, however, the school maintains that Bailey’s suspension was not due to her initiatives for the discrimination policy, but was a result of parent complaints about her openness about her sexual orientation in classroom conversation.

“The District's concern is that Ms. Bailey insists that it is her right and that it is age appropriate for her to have ongoing discussion with elementary-aged students about her own sexual orientation, the sexual orientation of artists, and their relationships with other gay artists,” the statement read. “Again, this situation is not about Ms. Bailey’s inquiries regarding the District’s nondiscrimination policies. Rather, it is a matter of parents having certain rights pertaining to the topics to which their children are exposed and the District’s right and responsibility to ensure age-appropriate instruction.”

A parent from the school reportedly complained about Bailey’s mention of her same-sex relationship to her students.

Administrators say that Bailey was advised on more than one occasion on the level of appropriateness of her classroom discussions, but Bailey’s attorney Giana Ortiz refutes the claim.

In a statement made to The Dallas Morning News, Ortiz says, “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. This is absolutely false. Further, she never received directives to change her behavior--and never refused to follow any directive.”

An online petition is circulating to attempt to realize Bailey’s original goal in amending the school district’s non-discrimination language to address LGBTQ employee and student rights.