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Lesbian Teacher Disciplined for Showing Picture of Wife Awarded 100K Settlement

April 21st, 2020

A lesbian teacher in Texas was awarded a $100,000 settlement after her school district discriminated against her due to her sexual orientation.
A lesbian teacher in Texas was awarded a $100,000 settlement after her school district discriminated against her due to her sexual orientation.

A lesbian teacher in the Dallas, Texas area was recently awarded a $100,000 settlement from the school district where she was suspended for supposedly “promoting the homosexual agenda.” The teacher, Stacy Bailey, had been disciplined and removed from her teaching position after allegedly showing a picture of her then fiancée during a “get to know your teacher” presentation. The settlement is seen as a major win for the LGBTQ rights movement and the right to be free from discrimination in employment.

The Incident that Led to the Lesbian Teacher’s Suspension

The elementary school art teacher, twice selected as “Teacher of the Year” at her school, showed students various pictures of her pets, friends, family members and now-wife during a presentation. Apparently, even though she was simply showing pictures of her family as any other teacher would do, the parent of a student initiated a formal complaint accusing her of “promoting the homosexual agenda,” simply by showing the pictures. The incident led to Bailey being suspended and asked to resign.

The School District’s Response

In response to the parent’s complaint, the Mansfield Independent School District suspended the lesbian teacher, asked her to resign, and ultimately moved her to a different school. After the teacher filed the lawsuit, the district responded that she had not followed guidelines regarding teaching controversial subjects. The district also responded that since the teacher was moved to a high school, the suit should be dismissed since her new position was “arguably more prestigious,” even though Bailey had wished to return to the same elementary school.

The Teacher’s Settlement with the School District

A judge ruled in favor of the lesbian teacher, finding she had in fact been unconstitutionally discriminated against due to her sexual orientation, and awarded her a $100,000 settlement from the school district, which denied wrongdoing. However, as part of the settlement, the Mansfield Independent School District will provide required training to its staff and teachers regarding LGBTQ issues and force the board of trustees of the district to vote on whether to incorporate sexual orientation into its nondiscrimination policies.

In addition, Bailey has committed to donate $10,000 of the settlement to a nonprofit helping LGBTQ youth, and her lawyer, Jason C.N. Smith, will donate $10,000 of his fees to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ human rights organization. According to Smith, “the judge’s decision in this case sends a message to school districts all across this country: The Constitution protects gay teachers from discrimination.”

Documenting Developments in LGBTQ Rights

According to Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a full 25% of LGBT employees report being discriminated against on the job in the past 5 years, and nearly 10% have left a job due to an unwelcoming environment. The situation for transgender employees specifically is even more stark, with the transgender unemployment rate being 3 times the national average.

Texas is one of 25 states that does not prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people in any area of law. As documented in this blog last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court is currently set to rule on whether it is legal for employers to fire someone due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Rest assured that the Universal Life Church’s blog will keep you informed of the latest developments.

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