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Texas teacher suspended for being openly gay receives a huge payout
via Women in the World / Twitter

In the beginning of the 2017 school year, elementary teacher Stacy Bailey showed a get-to-know-your-teacher slideshow to her new students. Among the slides was a photo of her then-fiancé Julie Vazquez who she described as her "future wife."

A parent of one of her students complained to the Mansfield Independent School District (MISD) in Arlington, Texas, saying that Bailey promoted a "homosexual agenda."

Bailey, 33, is a two-time Teacher of the Year award-winner at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School.


Bailey was suspended after the incident because the district "received complaints from parents about Ms. Bailey discussing her sexual orientation with elementary-aged students."

"When a straight teacher happily announces that she and her husband are expecting a baby to her elementary class, is she saying something inappropriate to very young and impressionable students?" Bailey said in a recent statement.

"Is she announcing her sexual orientation? Is she presenting her life in a way that promotes her political beliefs?" Bailey continued. "Of course not. She's simply sharing facts about her life."

In 2018, Bailey filed a discrimination lawsuit against MISD claiming discrimination and a breach of her constitutional rights. Later that year, a federal judge decided the lawsuit could go ahead.

"If the community's perception is based on nothing more than unsupported assumptions, outdated stereotypes, and animosity, it is necessarily irrational and […] provides no legitimate support for Mansfield ISD's decisions," wrote Judge Sam Lindsay. "The private antipathy of some members of a community cannot validate state discrimination."

Eight months after her suspension, Bailey was reinstated by the district and reassigned to a local high school.

On Tuesday, Bailey's attorney announced they had reached a settlement with the school district.

MISDA agreed to pay Bailey and her attorney $100,000 of which Bailey will donate $10,000 to a charity helping LGBT youth. Her attorney, Jason Smith, has agreed to donate $10,000 from her settlement to the Human Rights Campaign.

"If you are a school district that thinks you can bully a gay teacher out of their job, I hope you remember my name and I hope you think twice," said Bailey during a press conference on Tuesday.

After all of the drama with the school district over her sexuality, Bailey was a little scared to start her new job at the high school, but her fears were quickly assuaged when 15 LGBT students greeted her in her new classroom with baskets and candy.

"I don't think they'd ever seen a teacher out loud say they were gay. To see a grown-up who was successful and educated and not afraid? I don't think they had ever seen that before," Bailey told BuzzFeed News.

"I've seen my classroom turn into a safe space for all kinds of kids who feel marginalized," she continued.

On the first day with her new class, she showed the same exact slideshow presentation, but this time the woman in the picture with her was her wife.

via Amber Jamieson / Twitter

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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