Lesbian teacher awarded $100,000 after being suspended over in-class slideshow
A Texas elementary school teacher who was suspended after showing her students a photo of her fiancée has reached a $100,000 settlement following a discrimination lawsuit, Yahoo Lifestyle reports.
Back in August 2017, Stacy Bailey, then an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary in Arlington, introduced herself to her fourth-grade class using a slide show which included pictures of herself, her family and her friends.Learn more about the story from this news report:
Included in the slideshow, was a picture of Bailey's partner Julie Vasquez, who the teacher referred to as her "future wife" during the presentation.
The slide show sparked a complaint from a parent that the art teacher was “promoting the homosexual agenda.”
As a result, Bailey received an eight-month suspension at the school in which she had been employed for 10 years and had twice been voted "Teacher of the Year".
“What happened to me is most gay teachers’ worst nightmare,” Bailey said, according to the Texas Tribune. “Why aren’t straight teachers afraid to talk about their families? Why do they feel comfortable to have a picture of their family on their desk without questioning their safety?”
And now, over two years later, Bailey will be receiving $100,000 from the Mansfield Independent School District to settle a federal lawsuit that she had filed accusing the district of discriminating against her due to her sexual orientation.
“This has been very traumatizing to me. It has taken a toll on my body and my soul,” she told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“I don’t think they’d ever seen a teacher out loud say they were gay,” Bailey told BuzzFeed. “To see a grown-up who was successful and educated and not afraid? I don’t think they had ever seen that before.”
Bailey has since found a position at a new school, Lake Ridge High School, where she has been employed since August 2018.