Students and parents are upset to learn an award-winning teacher was suspended from her school for telling her students she was gay, according to reports.

Stacy Bailey, an art teacher at Charlotte Anderson Elementary in Texas, was suspended after the school district received a complaint from parents about her discussing her sexual orientation “with elementary-aged students”, according to a statement from the school.

First reported by The Dallas Morning News, Bailey has been suspended with pay since September.

Bailey won the teacher of the year award twice at Charlotte – the second time just four months before she was suspended.

The statement says that though it is the district’s general rule “not to comment on employee personnel matters...”:

Misinformation about her personnel matter has created disruption at [the school].

The district claims that Bailey was not suspended for petitioning the school to include LGBT+ language in its nondiscrimination policy, but that she was inappropriately discussing:

Her own sexual orientation, the sexual orientation of artists [and] their relationship 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.

However, Baliey’s lawyer Giana Ortiz argues that Bailey never “insists that is her right” to talk about her sexuality.

This is absolutely false. Further, she never received directives to change her behaviour — and never refused to follow any directive.

Former students and parents have come out in droves to defend Bailey and praise her teaching.

Carol Daulton, whose daughter Heather was in Bailey’s art class for three years, told BuzzFeed News:

I am heartbroken that she is no longer in the classroom teaching our kids… teachers like her are so incredibly rare.

Former student Chloe Wakeland says “she didn’t ever talk about… her sexuality at all”.

h/t The Dallas Morning News

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