On the first day of school, Stacy Bailey showed students pictures of her parents, her fiancee and best friends — it's a common icebreaker with teachers as they try to connect with students. The picture — released by Bailey's attorney, Jason Smith of Fort Worth — shows Bailey and now-wife Julie Vasquez hamming it up for a camera while dressed as the popular animated characters.
Bailey filed a discrimination lawsuit in Dallas this week.
Mansfield school district denied the allegations raised in Bailey's lawsuit earlier this week in a press statement.
"Once the facts are fully known and parties deposed, we are confident this lawsuit will not warrant merit," the district said in the statement.
The district said that in the 10 years Bailey has worked for Mansfield schools, her open sexual preferences hadn't become an issue until this year.
"That's when her actions in the classroom changed, which prompted her students to voice concerns to their parents," the district said, adding that the issue is whether Bailey followed district guidelines to teach in "an impartial and objective manner."
Bailey's critics have accused her of promoting a "homosexual agenda."
According to the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Dallas, Bailey quickly found herself at odds with the district after she showed the photo and called Vasquez "her future wife" during the Power Point presentation.
Later that week, the lawsuit states, Bailey "was informed by the principal that a parent complained to the school board and superintendent about the plaintiff promoting the 'homosexual agenda' by discussing her 'future wife.'"
Bailey's principal said: "I don't think you did anything wrong, but I don't know what's going to happen," according to the lawsuit. On Aug. 25, she met with Associate Superintendent Kimberly Cantu, who said, "You can't promote your lifestyle in the classroom," the lawsuit said.
Bailey replied: "We plan to get married. When I have a wife, I should be able to say this is my wife without fear of harassment," the lawsuit said. "When I state that, it is a fact about my life, not a political statement."
But Cantu replied: "Well, right now it kind of is," according to the lawsuit. And on Sept. 8, Cantu told Bailey she had shown sexually inappropriate images to children, which Bailey denied, according to the lawsuit.
Bailey has been on paid administrative leave since September.
Bailey's allies have said she has been in limbo and has lost the thing she loves to do — teaching kids about art — because the person she promised to marry was a woman.
This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.