SHARE
Stacy Bailey is on paid leave from the Mansfield school district.

The Mansfield school district is teaching an important civics lesson to its students: Cowardice has no place in administration. Fourth grade art teacher Stacy Bailey learned the hard way that advocating for LGBT protections has repercussions. In early September, she was suspended with pay at Charlotte Anderson Elementary and has been awaiting a decision ever since.

Fort Worth schools adopted its current LGBT anti-discrimination policy in 2011, an acknowledgement that LGBT students faced higher rates of bullying, harassment, and suicide than their hetero peers. According to private emails recently published by the Dallas Morning News, the Mansfield teacher requested similar protections in that district after a handful of parents took offense to Bailey’s mentioning her female spouse during a class presentation.

Instead, she was placed on paid leave. For seven months. And counting.

SMF-276_300x250_bubbly_r1

The school district and Bailey’s current lawyer, Jason Smith, issued contradictory statements on what was discussed in the class. Smith told news media that Bailey discussed her gay marriage on “one occasion.” The school district said Bailey had an “ongoing discussion with elementary-aged students about her own sexual orientation.”

Mansfield school board members have skirted the issue by avoiding public comment

A parent we spoke to worries that the art teacher may be fired outright. Rebecca Cavitt first heard about the teacher’s absence from her daughter last fall.

Her daughter was “very close” to Bailey, Cavitt said. “We started asking questions. A few teachers said they didn’t know because [Bailey] was not allowed to talk.”

Several parents have spoken at Mansfield school district board meetings, lambasting the school district for what they say is the ongoing mistreatment of a popular and respected teacher. 

“A lot of people feel like she has been treated unfairly,” Cavitt said. “It doesn’t make any sense to anybody.” 

Last week, Cavitt’s daughter came home in tears: A rumor had spread that Bailey had been fired. While untrue, the false alarm highlighted the fact that emotions still run high over the ordeal.

We reached out to the Mansfield school district for comment but did not hear back in time for publication. Previously, the school district had released a public statement describing its current policy as forbidding discrimination or harassment based on “race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.” In other words, the statement continued, the Mansfield school district does not condone harassment or discrimination of any kind toward anyone.

Steven Poole, executive director of the United Educators Association, which represents 23,000 Texas school employees, said that if the Mansfield school district had fired Bailey, the teacher would have had access to due process, such as a board review. 

“Right now, [the school district] is trying to figure out what they want to do with her,” he said. “It is unusual for someone to be on leave this long and no position made. I don’t know what the district is thinking.”

Mansfield school administrators should put Bailey back to work and tell those complaining parents that the world’s inhabitants are not one-dimensional druids. Or else administrators should prove that Bailey had broken a school policy, fire her, and allow her to move elsewhere and/or sue for workplace discrimination. Sometimes it takes a lawsuit to push scaredy cats into the 21st century.

12 COMMENTS

    • According to a public statement released by the Mansfield school district, multiple parents complained to school district staff and administrators about Stacy Bailey.

  1. My mother was basically forced out of her position by simply doing her job at a school. I’m not partial one way or the other to the LGBT community, but the schools need to figure out what they are going to except from students and teachers on this before they start firing people and ruining their lives…. all because they don’t have there laws in order. My mother’s situation was a student claiming to be of opposite gender and demanded to be treated as such. My mother followed school policy and the parents complained and the school became scared and pushed my mother out of her position of over 10 years. The kids LOVED her. They NEEDED her. She provided not only material things to so many that didn’t have, but also emotional support for students lacking that in their home. I’d love for her to file suit over this. It is wrong to ruin lives over this LGBT issue that we can’t seem to figure out how to handle properly in schools.

  2. A public school teacher is responsible to teach and represent the public interest. One should consider carefully what the public would be interested in minors hear and see in that setting..

  3. 4th grde students need not hear about same sex marriages, and certainly not from one of their respected teachers! Go ahead and fire her!

    • So long as you support firing teacher who bring up their heterosexual relationships. Otherwise you’d be a flaming hypocrite.

  4. This forum/FW Weekly should NOT be representing this teacher as some form of Hero and rights activist in this situation at all… your agenda is obvious and pathetic… Teaching 4th grade students about your sexual lifestyle is NOT appropriate at all in the classroom…gay or hetero… This is nothing more than another nutcase using their “teaching” platform to propagandize their agenda. She should be fired immediately…

    • Such hypocrites you people are. “Hypo-Christians” would actually be perfectly appropriate because it encapsulates both the fact that you are hypocrites and that you are well below the standards of Christ.

      You get to PUSH your religious and heterosexual ‘agenda’ on children every day, but ONE person shows the kids a picture of her future spouse and somehow it’s “Teaching students about your sexual lifestyle”.

      Just how SICK are you people? She NEVER brought up ‘sex’, but that is always the FIRST thing you perverts think about when you think of same sex couples. There’s a reason for that, you poor latent creatures: You ACTUALLY believe that sexual orientation is a ‘choice’… which means that YOU are attracted to both men and women and take out your self-loathing on others.
      Yeah, you’ll never admit it to yourselves, but you’re transparent to those of us who can actually engage in introspection.

      Also, Jesus NEVER said there was anything wrong with being gay, you hateful, lying bigots.

  5. Fire her, not paid leave. If you want to sin, that will be your down fall. That’s what is wrong with our schools, they have taken God out of them.

  6. All of you who are judging Bailey and discriminating against her (yes, not allowing her to speak about her partner or speak about an artist who happens to be gay is discrimination) are only teaching your children to judge and discriminate against others. That’s it. That’s the sum total of what you are teaching them. You would rather cast the blame on Bailey than face your own discomfort with people who don’t happen to live just as you do. Yet you are also likely the same people who try to teach your children to be good Christians and follow the path of Jesus. So why can’t you truly follow the path he took. He befriended gays and lesbians, lepers, the poor and the outcast and kept them in his circle. Your children have higher minds, hearts and souls than you do. They see Bailey the way she actually is … an award winning teacher who cares about her students. They love her as Jesus would. Why can’t you do that or even attempt to do it? Try and argue against this deeper truth. You do and you know you lose!

LEAVE A REPLY