Texan elementary school teacher Stacy Bailey has been suspended for six months after writing a letter asking for protections for LGBTQ+ students in her district through LGBTQ+ language in the district’s non-discriminatory policy.
“I think it is important that [the district] starts movement towards progress now. We have many LGBTQ teachers, students, and families in this district,” Bailey said in the letter. “We deserve the right to feel protected by our district.”
Bailey, the art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School, pointed out in the letter that the district refused to integrate schools for eleven years after Brown v. Board of Education.
“As a teacher who loves where I teach and my community, I would like for us to be on the correct side of history this time,” she wrote.
A day after she sent the letter, she received one in kind that placed her on six months paid leave “until an investigation is completed.” She was told to "make no contact with students, parents or other staff members," and that she should not discuss the "administrative leave situation with others."
Bailey has not commented on the situation, though her lawyer, Giana Ortiz, told The Dallas News that Bailey’s “record in MISD has been exemplary.”
"She has touched many lives through her passion for teaching and for her students,” said Ortiz. “I believe it is a great disservice to the children of Charlotte Anderson Elementary that they've been without their art teacher for the majority of this year.”
40 parents and community members showed up to a board meeting on Feb. 28 in support of Bailey.
"She brings diversity to this classroom that is lacking in so many schools and in so many districts today," parent Rebecca Cavitt said at the board meeting. "She accepts my child for who she is and she loves her for it. I'm perplexed how this person who everyone seems to adore can be kept from our children."