A Texas teacher was reportedly suspended at the beginning of the school year for discussing her wife with her elementary school class.
Mansfield Independent School District said Bailey did not follow the guidelines for age-appropriate conversations with her students.
A school board meeting on Tuesday was attended by parents who spoke both for and against the art teacher’s suspension.
With her case under review, Bailey is not able to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation, so her wife, Julie Vasquez, spoke to the school district on her behalf.
“The last 228 days in our home have been wrought with disbelief, fear, confusion and a deep sadness,” Vasquez said. “She is a dedicated and talented teacher who year after year has received exemplary reviews and twice teacher of the year. Is this what MISD does to its best and brightest?”
Lisa Duhamel, a retired teacher from Mansfield ISD, also spoke up for Bailey, pointing out the double standard that exists for straight couples.
“No parent ever became offended by my introducing my spouse,” Duhamel said. “No one ever thought I was discussing sexuality because I said this is my husband.”
However, Angela Martin, a parent who supported the art teacher’s ban, said it was “not appropriate for teachers to promote the LGBTQ agenda,” especially without consent from a parent.
Some had questioned that Bailey’s suspension was for emailing officials in August to start a conversation about including “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression” in the district’s anti-discrimination policy.
Despite not being the reported reason for her suspension, speakers still called on Mansfield ISD to include those protections for LGBTQ teachers and staff.
The School District said that a policy review would have to be conducted before any changes could be made, but that process could begin over the summer.
Though still under investigation, Bailey is expected to be asked back for the 2018-2019 school year.