Texas Elementary Teacher Suspended After Discussing Sexual Orientation
MANSFIELD, TX – An elementary school teacher in Texas was suspended after she allegedly spoke about her sexual orientation with her students, officials said Tuesday.
Charlotte Anderson Elementary art teacher Stacy Bailey, 31, was suspended with pay in September. Officials with the Mansfield Independent School District (ISD) said it received complaints from parents about her discussing her sexual orientation with students.
In a statement sent to Newsweek, Mansfield ISD said it is their “general rule not to comment on employee personnel matters” but misinformation about Bailey’s personnel matter had “created disruption to the Charlotte Anderson Elementary School education environment.”
District officials said the teacher was not suspended over her request to include LGBTQ language in its nondiscrimination policy. Instead, the district 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 continued.
Bailey had been warned after the district received parents’ complain but “refused to follow administration’s directions regarding age-appropriate conversation with students,” officials said.
The teacher’s attorney, Giana Ortiz, said that the situation began when she talked to students about her family, including her wife.
“The district appears to speak for Stacy when it states that she ‘insists it is her right and that is it is age appropriate’ to discuss matters including ongoing discussions about her own sexuality. This is absolutely false. Further, she never received directives to change her behavior—and never refused to follow any directive,” Ortiz told The Dallas Morning News.
Ortiz expressed frustration about the school district’s decision to speak about Bailey’s suspension, saying it violated Bailey’s rights under the Constitution.
Bailey’s supporters have rallied behind her, with parents pleading with the school board to reinstate their “beloved teacher” back to the classroom.
Florence Bruner, who has children at Charlotte Anderson Elementary, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “As a parent, we ask a lot of our children and our teachers, but there are two things we hope for the most — one is a teacher whose love of the subject inspires students, and the other is a teacher who cares deeply for our children. Stacy Bailey is without question both of these.”
Bruner, whose fourth-grade daughter has taken art classes with Bailey since kindergarten, added that Bailey is “dearly missed and loved by the children.”
Nearly three dozen people, including Bailey’s wife, father and sister, voiced their support for her during a school board meeting on Tuesday. Eight people, including third-grader Kaine Hendrix, spoke to the board about Bailey’s departure or to ask about including LGBTQ-inclusive language in the district’s anti-discrimination policy.
“Ms. Bailey was my teacher, my role model and someone who always cheered me up,” the 9-year-old boy said. “Every time I go to art it is not the same.”
FT WORTH, TX – A Fort Worth high school teacher was arrested on suspicion of online solicitation of a minor after a sting operation caught the 29-year-old man trying to meet with a person he believed to be a teenage girl for sex, police said. Six other men also were arrested.
Jarrod Cook, who teaches science at North Crowley High School, has been placed on administrative leave pending the result of an investigation, the district said. He was hired in August 2016.
The sting involved investigators posing as girls and boys ages 13 to 15, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The seven suspects went to an agreed location to have sexual contact with a person they believed to be a teenage girl.
Cook responded to a post on the Whisper app titled “Sunday funday?” that he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Cook told the poster,” “I think it’s kinda hot that you’re young and inexperienced,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the newspaper.
Cook continued to communicate with the “girl” in a sexual nature, including sending a photo of himself and a photo of a penis before asking to meet with her, the affidavit said.
Six others arrested were Douglas Hammonds, 63; Gary Gibson, 55; Donny Stringer, 59; James Marshall, 26; Zachary Blakley, 20; and Geronimo Farias, 32.
Arlington police, the Tarrant County sheriff’s office, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division in Hurst and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations assisted Fort Worth police in the sting.
Prince Frederick, MD – On August 10, 2017, police responded to a trailer on Hallowing Point Rd, in Prince Frederick, for a report of child abuse.
Detective Jernigam from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and a Child Protective Services Worker from the county responded to the trailer after they received complaints that a 3-year-old boy had visible marks on his body. The complaints came from the child’s teachers at the Head Start program.
The child had marks on his chest, back, and legs that appeared to have been made by a thin cord of some type. The child’s speech and language is delayed, and he was only able to indicate his mom was mad.
Police made contact with the child’s mother, identified as Rocla Aceneth Tovar Calderon, 40, of Prince Frederick.
The Child Protective Services Worker explained they needed to speak with Calderon about the marks on he son’s arms, and Calderon stated that she hit him because she was angry because he “do a lot of things” and she “need to teach him”. Calderon went on to say that she tries not to hit him because “he’s white and it leaves marks”, which she knows is a problem, and that sometimes she has to hit him so he will learn.
Calderon explained that she is having issues with potty training, destructive behavior, and that the only way she can keep him occupied is with a tablet.
Calderon was asked what she hit the child with, and she said it was a cord to a tablet because he chewed it and it broke. The previous night, 8/9/2017, Calderon admitted to hitting him between 5-7 times but she was not exactly sure because she was so angry with him. Calderon then explained that she usually uses a shoe to hit him, but she had the cord in her hand, which is why she used it. Calderon said that it hurts her hand to spank him with her hand and gives her blood clots, so she uses a shoe.
The Child Protective Services Worker explained that she could not hit the child with cords and leave marks. Calderon repeatedly indicated that she cannot control his behavior, citing examples of him urinating in a basket full of clean laundry, and on the blankets on her bed. While speaking with Calderon, the child grabbed an empty water bottle, urinated inside it, and placed it on the floor near the front door. Calderon made no attempts to stop this behavior, and rather indicated that it was another example of not being able to control him “because he’s 3”.
Police described the residence as “extremely unkempt, with old food on the floor, tables, chairs, and counters. Insects were visible flying around the residence, crawling on the counters and floors. Ms. Calderon apologized for the mess and stated that it is Thursday which is her day to clean.”
The Child Protective Services Worker prepared a safety plan for Calderon, which was signed by both parties, indicating that she was not allowed to hit the child with any objects. The plan also indicated that in-home services would be provided by CPS to assist Calderon with the child’s behavior and with cleaning her home so that it is sanitary.
Rocla Aceneth Tovar Calderon, was arrested and charged with assault, and child abuse, she posted a $10,000 bail and was released. Calderon has a preliminary court date on September 22, 2017, in Calvert District Court.
Former Clarksville kindergarten teacher
arrested on Child Abuse charges
Clarksville, TN – A former kindergarten teacher in Clarksville has been arrested on child abuse charges.
Bonnie Conn, 49, who taught kindergarten at St. Bethlehem Elementary School, is charged with two counts of child abuse.
According to the sheriff’s office, Conn was arrested Wednesday and was being held on $15,000 bond.
Earlier this month, the mother of a student filed a federal lawsuit against the Clarksville-Montgomery County Board of Education and Conn claiming that her autistic son was mistreated by Conn after a video surfaced which showed Conn dragging the boy out of her classroom by the arm on two occasions.
A Montgomery County grand jury returned an indictment this month, charging Conn with two counts of child abuse. According to the indictment, Conn abused a child under the age of 8 “so as to adversely affect the child’s health and welfare” on Jan. 23 and Jan. 27.
The indictment does not identify the child or mother in the criminal case, but the dates correspond with those involving the autistic child.
According to the federal lawsuit, Feltonas Wells is the mother of a 6-year-old student who was placed in Conn’s classroom at the school in the fall of 2016.
The lawsuit alleges that the child’s Constitutional rights were violated among other issues.
The child is diagnosed with severe Autism syndrome and qualified as a student with “developmental delay” based on Tennessee Department of Education guidelines.
Wells first became concerned about the “sad faces” her son was receiving on his daily chart reportedly for poor behavior in class.
On Feb. 2, 2017, Wells went to the school to drop off another child and found that her son was being punished by being forced to lay on a cot isolated from the classroom and facing away from the teacher and other students.
She removed the boy and took him home.
The next day her son begged his mother not to make him go to school because “he didn’t want to be bad anymore,” according to the lawsuit.
A principal called and said he would be assigned to a new teacher so his mother returned him to school.
On Feb. 9, Wells received a phone call from Principal Melisse Williams, who seemed to be crying as she told the mother that she witnessed video footage of her son being pushed by Conn and had reported the abuse to the Department of Children Services, according to the lawsuit.
On Feb. 10, Wells went to the school and was allowed to view a surveillance camera outside Conn’s classroom.
“To Ms. Wells’ shock and surprise, the video revealed Ms. Conn violently dragging (the boy) out of the classroom by one arm and then pushing him with her foot to get him out of the doorway,” the lawsuit said. “She then shut the door causing it to strike (the boy) on his head. Ms. Conn left (the boy) alone in the hallway and returned to her classroom. (The boy) is shown holding his head and crying following the physical assault.”
When Wells asked why her son was put back in Conn’s classroom, she was told that Conn was undergoing anger management counseling and the number of students had been reduced so she would not become overwhelmed, the lawsuit said.
Wells removed the boy from the school and enrolled him in another local school.
According to Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools Spokeswoman Elise Shelton, Conn was hired in 2005, placed on alternative work site on Feb. 10 and resigned Feb. 16.