Charlotte Anderson Elementary School – Photo: Facebook.
A Dallas-area elementary school teacher was reportedly placed on administrative leave months ago after she asked for district policies to include LGBTQ-friendly language.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the Mansfield Independent School District has placed Stacy Bailey, an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School in Arlington, Texas, on paid administrative leave, but has declined to explain why.
Some have speculated whether Bailey’s suspension may be due to emails she sent inquiring about whether the district would adopt LGBTQ-friendly policies.
Bailey emailed officials in August to start a conversation about including “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” in the district’s anti-discrimination policy.
“I think it is important that MISD starts movement towards progress now,” Bailey’s email, which was obtained by The Dallas Morning News, read. “We have many LGBTQ teachers, students, and families in this district. We deserve the right to feel protected by our district.”
Bailey, who was previously named the school’s Teacher of the Year, also asked counselors at another district school about their Gay-Straight Alliance group.
After Bailey emailed the counselors at the other school, she was notified via email that she would be placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation.
The email did not include a reason for the suspension, instead, it told her to not contact students, parents or staff during the leave.
Many students and parents expressed their support for Bailey at a school board meeting last week, with one parent saying she “brings diversity to the classroom.”
“She accepts my child for who she is and she loves her for it,” the parent said. “I’m perplexed how this person who everyone seems to adore can be kept from our children.”
District officials told The Dallas Morning News in a statement that the district “does not condone harassment or discrimination of any kind toward anyone.”
Donald Williams, the district associate superintendent of communications, said that anti-discrimination policies “covers all employees, including the LGBT community.”
“That’s really the heart of Mansfield ISD,” Williams said to the paper. “We truly believe that and that is our position. We don’t discriminate against any of employees.”