The reason this teacher was suspended shows a painful reality for many LGBTQ people.

By all accounts, Stacy Bailey is an excellent teacher. After all, she was selected as her school's Teacher of the Year. Twice. Then she was suspended.

Considering how difficult it is to keep quality educators in classrooms that are often understaffed and lacking resources, you may already be scratching your head and wondering what horrible thing Bailey must have done to be taken out of her classroom for an entire year.

Bailey was suspended because she showed her elementary students a photograph of her future wife.


According to reports, the reason Bailey was suspended had everything to do with the fact that she acknowledged that she was in a relationship with a woman.

NBC News reports that Bailey is suing the Texas school district for discrimination. She was removed from the classroom for, as one parent reportedly complained, promoting a "homosexual agenda."

She didn't lead a class on homosexuality. She didn't spend an hour discussing painstaking details of her relationship and love life. Instead, during an event meant to introduce students and teachers, Bailey, who's been an educator for over a decade, showed her students pictures of her family and friends — which included Bailey's future wife.

"During her tenure with the district, there has never been an issue with her open sexual preferences until this year," the district wrote in a statement. "The issue at Charlotte Anderson Elementary School is whether Mrs. Bailey has followed district guidelines requiring that controversial subjects be taught in 'an impartial and objective manner.' Teachers shall not use the classroom to transmit personal beliefs regarding political or sectarian issues."

But that statement seems to be hanging a whole lot on Bailey showing a picture of her wife-to-be.

Bailey is fighting back because she knows this is about more than just a teaching job.

Bailey has been trying to incorporate better representation and protections into her school for a while. The Advocate reports that shortly before she was suspended, Bailey spoke to the school about adding LGBTQ-inclusive language to the school's anti-discrimination policies. A day before she was suspended, Bailey reached out to other schools to see whether they had gay-straight alliances (groups where students could come to learn about each other and fight for equality regardless of identification) and to see how those were handled and led.

Bailey is fighting to be reinstated at her school. In February, numerous people came to a school board meeting to show their support for her. But the school district seems to be standing firm on its position.

Representation matters everywhere — in classrooms too.

Teachers are people, and people come from all kinds of backgrounds and have all kinds of families and lives. Of course if you stop and think about it, teachers who don't identify as LGBTQ often speak about their partners without any kind of fuss. That's because being open about heterosexual relationships in both passing and more in-depth ways has always been accepted as the norm. But families and marriages can look a lot of different ways and it's important that both students and parents realize that when a teacher who identifies as gay mentions their partner, they're just trying to lives their lives like anyone else would.

It's unclear what the school district's exact concerns are, but the fear seems to be that children who learn about the sexual orientation of the trusted adults in their lives may somehow emulate that orientation. But there's no evidence that's true. You know what we do have evidence of? That teachers who are LGBTQ are afraid to speak out and be themselves at work. That students who see LGBTQ role models in their lives may feel more comfortable with themselves as they discover who they are. And, really, isn't that what we want for all children?

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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