A Mansfield Independent School District teacher suspended since September on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the district claiming she was removed from the classroom because of her sexual orientation.
The teacher, Stacy Bailey, was placed on administrative leave after a parent complained she was promoting a “homosexual agenda” during a “Get to Know Your Teacher” slide show, said her attorney Jason Smith.
""Because a parent claimed that promoted a homosexual agenda, she was taken out of the classroom," Smith said.
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Bailey taught art at Charlotte Anderson Elementary.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Dallas.
Bailey declined to speak about the case to reporters but she did appear at a news conference with her attorney and wife.
"It is shocking and disappointing that Mansfield district officials treated my wife differently when she spoke about her family just as very teacher does," Julie Vasquez said. "She was singled out just because her spouse happens to be a woman."
Her contract was renewed in April and the district reassigned her to a secondary school, “sending the message that it believed LGBT teachers were not acceptable to teach elementary students,” Smith said.
"Stacy is filing this lawsuit and taking this action in hopes of pushing Mansfield out of the shadows of discrimination and into the sunshine of equal rights," he said.
Vasquez said Bailey just wants to return to her elementary school, where she was twice selected teacher of the year.
"I think that would be the world," Vasquez said.
A spokesman for the Mansfield ISD did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in a recent press release, the district said Bailey was placed on leave not because of her sexual orientation but because she insisted it is age-appropriate for her to discuss sexual orientation with elementary-aged students.