WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro, who is an AFT vice president, issued a statement in response to the news that Stacy Bailey, an art teacher in Arlington, Texas, was fired for showing students a slide show that included photos of her wife:
“Marriage is protected by the Constitution; this isn’t a question. No one should be fired from a job because of whom they marry, and yet, in 2018, there’s a school district removing a twice-awarded teacher of the year from her classroom and her students for talking about her family. This not only sends a terrible message to our kids about bigotry, but it flies in the face of the constitutional protections around the institution of marriage. It is exactly these types of baseless assaults on teachers’ character that remind us just how critical a union voice is in protecting our educators.
“America’s greatness has been based in large part on our continual journey toward equality, and marriage equality is a part of that journey. As educators, we stand up against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, physical disability or sexual orientation. The fight for civil rights, not only in the workforce but in every aspect of American life, is ongoing, and this incident in Texas reminds us just how vigilant we must remain.”
Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro added:
“Teachers in Texas work every day in the classroom to make connections with students and to develop environments where they can learn and thrive. We’ll stand up for all teachers’ ability to do that work, regardless of whom they love or choose to marry.”