Teacher Shows Class Photo Of Fiancé, Gets Fired


A Silly Photo

The parent’s statement caught her attention as she looked down. She failed to understand the reasoning behind the complaint. The principal claimed she had no choice but to suspend her over some juvenile photo of her with her fiancée.

Diana knew that this wasn’t right. She could feel her stomach twisting into a knot, but she knew she had to be strong. She had to stand up for what she believed in.

Diana Atkinson

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Diana Atkinson was a regular woman that had a passion for teaching. She prided herself on being one of the best teachers in her school district. She loved nothing more than molding the young minds of the future.

But Diana was still a normal human being outside of her job. So when it all started with a parent taking issue with her personal life, she knew there would be hell to pay.

Loving Fiancee

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Even though teaching was her number one passion, the second most important thing to her was her fiancée. She was engaged to a beautiful woman named Lisa. Her sexual orientation had never bothered anyone before.

She counted herself lucky since most people didn’t have it so easy. But she never thought that the duality of her life would cause any trouble. She would soon find out that she was mistaken.

Loved By All 

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Diana didn’t think she was the best teacher for no reason. She upheld a high standard in her teaching and got a lot of attention for it.

Parents and students alike loved the care and compassion that she put into every lesson. However, that would all change all of a sudden one fateful day when Diana made herself some enemies.

Wrong Kind Of Attention

The Texas Observer

Not all of the attention she got would be good. She had no idea that one person would take notice of her and try their best to make her life miserable.

Her life was about to be turned upside down by the callous, petty actions of one of the people she expected the least. This is how it happened:


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It was the start of the school year, and Diana had set up a presentation for her class. It was orientation, and she liked to make her students feel comfortable.

If she showed them a little bit of her life, her kids would be more open to sharing things about themselves. Or that’s what she thought. She didn’t know how wrong she was.

Introducing Herself

The Advocate

She decided to introduce herself with a slideshow. It included her name, how long she had been a teacher, and some of her favorite things.

She thought that one of her slides would entertain the children, but it wouldn’t impress one of their parents. As a matter of fact, it would turn out to be the worst mistake of her career.

Her And Her Fiancée

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Diana decided to show her children a photo of her and her fiancée dressed as Nemo and Dory from Finding Nemo. She thought the kids would be amused by it.

When the children asked her who Lisa was, she replied with what felt natural to her, unaware that her words would be the triggering factor that would jeopardize her job in that school.

“My Future Wife”


She simply replied: “That’s Lisa, my future wife.” It was the natural thing to say, and, at first, there didn’t seem to be a problem with it.

The children seemed excited to get to know Diana. The feeling was mutual, and Diana looked forward to getting to know each individual child. But she was unaware of what she had set in motion all because of an innocent picture.

Principal’s Office

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After a week of teaching, the principal told Diana that she had to meet with her. It was a little strange since the school year had barely started.

She finished up her classes for the day and made her way to the principal’s office. She thought it would be about some routine paperwork with the new curriculum. But it wasn’t.

Not Happy

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She got to the door and stepped in. The principal waited there but clearly wasn’t happy about something.

Diana asked her what was going on, but she wasn’t ready for what the principal was about to tell her. After she heard her words, she became paralyzed for a few seconds. What was all that about?

A Complaint

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The principal informed Diana that there was a complaint about her. It was from one of the parents. She informed her that she would have to be more careful with what she showed her children when teaching.

But she didn’t understand what had happened. She didn’t show them anything that could have been misinterpreted. But she didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.

Worse Than She Thought

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Diana thought that she would get a verbal warning or a written one at most. She hated having something in writing against her, but it would be the end of the world. She asked the principal if she could go.

But the principal shook her head and frowned. She explained that it wasn’t that simple. Further actions had to be taken.


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The principal told her that after considering the allegations against her, they’d have no choice but to suspend her pending an investigation. Diana couldn’t believe what the principal was saying.

She had done nothing wrong. But then the principal showed her the official statement that the parent had left. It struck her like a punch to the gut.

Real Reason

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She looked down at the statement the parent had said. She couldn’t believe the reasoning behind the complaint. The principal said she had no choice but to suspend her for it over a silly photo of her with her fiance.

This wasn’t right, and Diana knew it. She felt her stomach twist into a knot, but she had to be brave. She had to fight for what she believed in.

Homosexual Agenda

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The complaint detailed how Diana was pushing a “homosexual agenda” all because of that one photo in her slideshow. It was clear that she was being discriminated against. She just couldn’t believe that the school didn’t have her back.

She knew that she’d have to get them back. She needed to undo the wrongs that were done to her. And with the support of her fiance, she would be able to.

Making It Known

The Texas Tribune

She started by going to the press to make her story public. If she called the public eye’s attention to her story, it would be easier to get her point across.

“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?” Diana said to the media when asked about her story.


Dallas Voice

“Is she announcing her sexual orientation? Is she presenting her life in a way that promotes her political beliefs? Of course not. She’s simply sharing facts about her life,” she concluded in an interview.

Then, she took the next logical step. She was willing to make her case clear by any means necessary; she decided to take things to court.

Hatching A Plan

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Diana couldn’t believe that she was suspended. She decided she’d have to fight but had to make sure she had a good plan first. Lisa would stick by her. They decided to go a legal route that, if pulled off correctly, would make them regret their decision.

It would be the only way to truly clear her name and show the world that people need to be treated right and not discriminated against. But first, She needed a lawyer.

Seeking Legal Action

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Diana had been suspended for months and looked for legal aid. She knew she needed to take action rather than sit around and feel sorry for herself. It was a difficult few weeks for her, but there wasn’t anything else she could do.

She found a good lawyer willing to help her, and the long process started. She just hoped that justice would win and she would be able to go back to teaching.

Not Staying Silent

The New York Times

“That’s one of the biggest reasons that I did stand up,” Diana said, referring to the “homosexual agenda” bit. “Because I thought if I would have stayed silent or I would have resigned that this would have just happened to someone else after me.”

But now, she was faced with an enormous legal battle. Would the judges side with her or with the school and the parents?

The Final Verdict

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After months of unhappiness and stress, Diana finally got the verdict of her messy legal battle. She couldn’t believe it. She won! She was compensated with $100,000 by the school.

“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 this school’s decisions,” wrote Judge Sam Lindsay.

The Sentence

The Advocate

“The private antipathy of some members of a community cannot validate state discrimination,” the judge’s sentence concluded, unequivocally aligning with Diana.

It seemed like justice was made. However, it was not over. The school’s representatives still had something to say about the issue. This is what they declared in a public statement released shortly after the judge’s decision:

A Statement

Dallas Voice

“This school has voted on an agreement to settle the case in question in an amicable and beneficial manner,” Donald Williams, the school’s associate superintendent of communications, said in a statement.

That seemed like an agreeable position that respected Judge Sam Lindsay’s resolution. However, there was more to it. Donald Williams, speaking on the school’s behalf, had something else to say.

Denying Any Wrongdoing

CBS News

“All parties deny any wrongdoing or liability but wish to resolve their disputes to avoid the time, expense, stress, and other impacts of continuing litigation, which would interfere with the mission of educating the students of this school,” he added.

But it didn’t end there. Diana and her attorney, Jason Smith, had something else to say to the public.


Dallas Morning News

“She is glad to finally be able to speak about this,” Smith said to the media after the school released the statement.

“She’s talked about how she’s a gay teacher, a dedicated gay teacher, and they put her through a lot of pain, but she is hopeful that some of the provisions of the settlement will make this school a more tolerant place for LGBTQ people.”


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“I think this settlement was a win-win for Diana, the educators, and the students of this school,” Smith said. “The judge, in this case, ruled that gay teachers are protected by the Constitution. That’s a precedent that will protect every gay teacher in this country.”

“Stacy has encouraged other teachers to live their truth and openly be who they are in the classroom so they can be better people and better teachers,” Smith said.

New School


Now that she had proven she was in the right and was also a good teacher, she looked forward to the rest of her life. Shortly after, she got hired by a different school.

Before her first day, Diana was nervous about how she would be received by her students. After all, her story had spread all across the state’s schools. Little did she know, she was in for a surprise.

Welcoming Her

Daily Mail

On Diana’s first day, around 15 LGBTQ students from her new school flooded her classroom carrying baskets and candy, introducing themselves and welcoming her.

“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 the media.

A Safe Space

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“I’ve seen my classroom turn into a safe space for all kinds of kids who feel marginalized,” she added.

“There have always been gay educators,” said Bailey. “Some of your best teachers may have been gay but too afraid to tell you.”

In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.