Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Suit Filed in Texas TWG Case

Teaching While Gay remains perilous in red states. But Stacy Bailey is fighting back with a suit filed on Tuesday in the Northern District of Texas: Bailey v. Mansfield Independent School District (below the fold). Bailey, a popular and dedicated art teacher, always received exemplary performance reviews at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School. In fact she was twice named Teacher of the Year. Stacy Bailey has a passion for teaching kids about art.

Last August, at the beginning of the school year, Ms. Bailey did what many teachers do to introduce themselves to new students as a means of connecting with them. She showed the kids pictures of her parents, her fiance and her best friends. This was followed by slides showing school rules and expectations.

A few days later, Bailey was informed that a parent complained that Bailey was promoting … wait for it … The Homosexual Agenda© by showing a photo of her future wife. The principal of the school told Bailey that she didn't do anything wrong but that she did not know how this would ultimately play out.

Dr. Kimberly Cantu, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources for the school district met with Bailey to discuss the complaint. Cantu said “You can’t promote your lifestyle in the classroom.” Bailey replied: “We plan to get married. When I have a wife, I should be able to say this is my wife without fear of harassment. It's worth noting that Bailey and her fiance married in March, 2018.

After some discussion, Bailey said that a change in policy was necessary to prevent this from happening in the future. Cantu allegedly agreed and reiterated what the principal had said, that Bailey did nothing wrong. I am unable to reconcile that with the prior statement that it was impermissible to promote her lifestyle. We will have to see the reply brief and presumably a rebuttal.

There was another “incident” evoking a complaint from the same idiotic parent. In teaching about prominent artists, such as Diego Rivera, Bailey included the names of their partners. This time the complaint was that Bailey showed her class indecent pictures. Bailey claims that she did no such thing. Apparently she was placed on administrative leave on September 8 and has not taught since.

From there the filing gets a bit murky. Before I go there, keep in mind that she never should have been put in this position in the first place. Last month the ISD voted to renew Bailey's contract after all. However, she was informed that she would be transferred to a secondary school. The brief does not indicate the current status of that contract.

The problem for Bailey is that she has an unwarranted administrative leave on her record. Moreover, Bailey's attorney claims that the school district publicized this matter out of policy. This is only indirectly a case of discrimination. At its core the issue is due process where the lapse of due process was caused by discrimination.

Nevertheless, LGBT people do not have employment nondiscrimination protections federally or in Texas. That's on us until we all do what we are supposed to do every November.

Bailey is represented by Jason Smith out of Fort Worth.

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