A teacher at a Texas elementary school was suspended after she reportedly talked about her sexual orientation with her students, officials said Tuesday.
Stacy Bailey, an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary in Arlington, Texas, was suspended with pay last year after the district said it got complaints from parents regarding her speaking to their children about her sexual orientation, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The Mansfield Independent School District said in a statement Tuesday that it doesn't normally comment on personnel matters but that misinformation surrounding the issue had "created a disruption" to the elementary school's "education environment."
The statement said Bailey was suspended because she "insists that it is her right and that it is age appropriate for her to have ongoing discussions with elementary-aged students about her own sexual orientation, the sexual orientation of artists, and their relationships with other gay artists.”
“Parents have the right to control the conversation with their children, especially as it relates to religion, politics, sex/sexual orientation, etc.," the statement said.
The statement added that Bailey had been warned after the district received complaints but she "refused to follow administration's directions regarding age-appropriate conversation with students."
The district also asserted in the statement that Bailey was not suspended because she had pushed to have LGBT language included in the district's nondiscrimination policy.
Bailey's attorney, Giana Ortiz, on Tuesday said the "entire ordeal" started when Bailey spoke to her students about her family, which included her wife, according to the Morning News.
"The District appears to speak for Stacy when it states that she 'insists it is her right and that it is age appropriate' to discuss matters including ongoing discussions about her own sexuality," Ortiz told the newspaper.
"This is absolutely false. Further, she never received directives to change her behavior—and never refused to follow any directive."
The lawyer also accused the school district of attempting to "silence" those who have advocated for Bailey to be reinstated and said she was "shocked" that the school district decided to openly speak about the issue.