top of page
washed wood texture, white background.jpg

The Incident with the Art Teacher

August 16, 2017: Stacy Bailey, an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School, showed students a slideshow with a photo of herself and fiancée, Julie Vasquez, making fish faces while dressed as Finding Nemo characters for Halloween.

​On September 20, 2017, Charlotte Anderson Elementary School principal, Sheira Petty, wrote a memo which outlined detailed procedures Ms. Petty and other district officials followed after Petty received multiple complaints from parents and guardians regarding Bailey's classroom discussions. 


The complaints outlined in Ms. Petty's memo are as follows:

The Complaints, The Memo & The Suspension

Complaints - Part One

August 23, 2017: Charlotte Anderson Elementary principal, Sheira Petty, received an emailed complaint against Bailey from an unidentified parent.

  • When Petty called him a day later, the father mentioned a slideshow in which the 31-year-old teacher had shown her now-wife, Julie Vazquez, to students. 

  • He told Petty that he "did not appreciate talking about her private life to his young children." 

  • He also told Petty that Bailey had told her students "this isn't gross" and that they could marry whomever they want when they grow up.

  • "'Girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys,'" the father said that Bailey had told students. "It is OK. Don't be afraid.”


The memo also says that another unidentified parent and an unidentified grandparent also complained about Bailey talking about her sexual orientation with students. 

Initial Consequences

August 25, 2017: Ms. Bailey met with Kimberley Cantu, who, at the time, was Associate Superintendent responsible for human resources for the district. 

  1. Ms. Bailey acknowledged she had probably said those things to her class.
  2. She also told Cantu that she wanted the district to add LGBTQ protections to its nondiscrimination policy.
  3. Bailey asked Cantu if she was in jeopardy of losing her job at the meeting, and Cantu told her no

Complaints - Part Two

September 7, 2017: The father who filed the Aug. 23 complaint emailed Petty a second complaint.

Petty forwarded the father's second complaint to Cantu.

The Suspension

September 8, 2017: Mansfield ISD placed Bailey on paid leave, saying parents had the right to "control the conversation with their children, especially as it relates to religion, politics, sex/sexual education, etc." 

The Plan, The Activists & The Lawsuit

In early 2018, Katie Hays, the pastor at Galileo Church in Fort Worth, held a meeting to discuss the controversy brewing around Bailey.

  • Hays and other activists decided not to fight on behalf of Bailey because they “didn’t want to meddle” in her lawsuit. 

  • Their role was to attack district employment and anti-bullying policies instead.

  • Hays’ group called itself the “Mansfield Equality Coalition.”

April 2018: Stacy Bailey was told by the district she would not be allowed to return to Charlotte Anderson Elementary, but would be reassigned to Lake Ridge High School instead. 


May 8, 2018: Bailey filed a federal lawsuit accusing Mansfield ISD, Superintendent Jim Vaszauskas and Cantu of violating her rights under federal and state equal protection laws and the Texas Equal Rights Amendment. 

  • Hays’ group, “Mansfield Equality Coalition” attended school board meetings “religiously,” using the comment period at the district’s  board meetings to drag meetings on for hours. 

  • In addition, Hays’ group worked closely with Rafael McDonnell, the advocacy manager for the Resource Center, a Dallas-based non-profit that provides services for the LGBTQ community. He works to convince cities, businesses and government agencies across DFW to adopt inclusive anti-discrimination policies. 

The Settlement

​​February 2020: The district settled its lawsuit with Stacy Bailey and agreed to the following:

  • Pay Stacy Bailey $100,000.

  • Provide mandatory training on LGBTQ issues for its human resources and staff members.

  • Require the Mansfield ISD board of trustees to vote on whether to add protections for sexual orientation into its policies. 

  • Expunge Bailey’s suspension from her record and provide her with a letter of recommendation for future employers.

MISD’s Statement: "All parties deny any wrongdoing or liability, but wish to resolve their disputes to avoid the time, expense, stress and other impacts of continuing litigation, which would interfere with the mission of educating the students of MISD," 

bottom of page