Here We Go: Lesbian Teacher Sues Mansfield, Texas School District for Discrimination

Stacy Bailey, the Mansfield school district art teacher who was placed on paid administrative leave but then had her contract renewed, is suing the school district for sexual orientation discrimination.

Her attorney has sent out a media advisory announcing a 1:45 p.m. Tuesday news conference in Dallas after the lawsuit is filed in federal court.

Bailey, her wife, Julie Vasquez, and attorney Jason Smith will be at the news conference. But Bailey will not speak.

Her case has drawn national attention as her supporters ask Mansfield school district leaders why she is no longer teaching at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School in Arlington. She has been on paid administrative leave most of the school year.

She has twice been voted teacher of the year and received “exemplary reviews,” her attorney said in the media advisory.

Bailey’s contract was renewed on April 23, but the district sent a letter on May 1 informing her that she had been reassigned to a secondary school. Smith, her attorney, said the Mansfield school district is “sending the message that it believed LGBT teachers were not acceptable to teach elementary students.”

Her lawsuit will be filed under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. She will be seeking reassignment to Charlotte Anderson Elementary and “acknowledgment that what Mansfield ISD did was illegal and wrong and should never be done again.”

The Mansfield school district did not immediately respond to questions from the Star-Telegram.

Bailey’s case has drawn scrutiny as allies of the teacher and critics voiced their views before the Mansfield school board. Supporters want trustees to let Bailey teach, while critics of the teacher told the board to stand its ground on the issue of parents’ rights.

Last month, the school board voted to renew Bailey’s contract for the next school year. Her contract was among those presented for renewal on a consent agenda.

Bailey had been on paid leave while her case is investigated.

Bailey’s supporters say she is an inspirational teacher who is greatly missed. Her wife, Vasquez, was among supporters who addressed the school board.

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Source: Star Telegram