Looks like homophobia is alive and well in Texas. The Texas Tribune reports that Stacy Bailey, an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School in Mansfield, has been suspended from the classroom since September. Her crime? Showing her students a photograph of her wife.
From the Tribune:
Mansfield [Independent School District] in North Texas put Bailey on paid administrative leave at the start of this school year, following complaints from a parent that she was “promoting the ‘homosexual agenda’” by showing her class a photo of her and her now-wife, Julie Vazquez, as well as mentioning that the artist Jasper Johns had a partner, another artist Robert Rauschenberg, Bailey claims in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month.
The two-time teacher of the year argues that the district violated the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution by treating her differently than it would have treated a straight teacher.
This is perfectly legal in Texas, as well as the 27 other states that don't prohibit workplace discrimination for gay, lesbian, or bisexual folks. Bailey is taking the school district to federal court, arguing that the district violated the state and federal constitutions’ equal protection clauses, according to the Tribune. But this will be expensive, time consuming, and may not work out in her favor.
Still, because Bailey is a public employee, she's more protected than LGBTQ employees in the private sector, who get no protections at all. Welcome to Texas, y'all!