This is for a fanfiction, but it's fairly AU and set ambiguously in north Texas. The main character is a closeted gay high school teacher who begins a relationship with the uncle of an orphaned student, and it gets out to, well, pretty much everyone.
I'm also Googling everything on the side, so I may end up finding a very obvious answer as I type. Thank you for any and all help!
1) How are gay teachers protected? Are they protected at all? By the 14th Amendment, or district policy? It's obvious that many gay teachers (and most professionals in general) are afraid to come out, but who would be the decisive factor in the termination of said teacher (if he/she were fired at all)? Would it be the job of a district superintendent, or just the principal him/herself? If said teacher came out relatively quietly, would the district even have to be informed?
2) How much say do principals get in who they hire? If someone applies to become a teacher, do the five or so principals in the district compete to see who gets him? If a principal and a teacher knew each other beforehand, does that principal get 'dibs' on that teacher? Are principals allowed to 'handpick' their teaching staff?
3) Here's the biggie: if a teacher were to have a relationship with the guardian of a student, what steps would be taken? Usually, children of teachers are moved to another class, or a teacher will teach a different grade/class that year, but what if the teacher is the only one in the school teaching said class? Yes, it's possible that the student (or teacher) might be transferred to a different school in the district, but what if the relationship began in the middle of the school year (November?) and it was too late to transfer?
4) How is the school/employees/fellow teachers allowed to react? Would principals have appropriate authority to punish students/other teachers for anti-gay slurs? Is the principal allowed to endorse/condone said relationship? For example, would the principal be allowed to give a little speech at a staff meeting on the importance of acceptance, etc.?
5) I heard my teachers constantly complaining about these, so I have to know: what goes on at a typical staff meeting? I imagine that it would be a lot like bored adolescents fighting over the budget and whatnot, but I've absolutely no basis in fact for this. :)
(For context, I attended a high school in Lewisville, Texas, and there were two openly gay teachers (one taught English; the other, I don't know) and a rumored lesbian (also English), but I only know the situation from a student's point of view. And, shamefully, most of what I know about teacher/guardian relationships comes from Gilmore Girls.)