The Florida Department of Education is investigating a teacher because a school board member didn’t like the Disney movie she chose to show her classroom.
According to USA Today, school board member Shannon Rodriguez reported fifth-grade teacher Jenna Barbee to the Florida Department of Education for showing the 2022 Disney Film Strange World to her class. Rodriguez had a problem with the film because an openly gay character was in it.
Obviously, clueless Rodriguez didn’t watch the complete film because she would’ve seen that the “alarming” gay scenes are the main character Ethan Clade (played by Jaboukie Young-White) raving about his cute crush on Diazo (Jonathan Melo) and getting nervous around him. That’s it!
Barbee maintained that she showed the class Strange World because it tied to her students learning about Earth science and that it didn’t show any sexually inappropriate content.
“The word indoctrination is thrown around a lot right now, but it seems that those who are using it are using it as a defense tactic for their own fear-based beliefs without understanding the true meaning of the word,” Barbie said.
Barbee is under investigation because teachers were prohibited from teaching students about sexual and gender identity after state Republican Governor Ron DeSantis enacted the Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
According to Barbee in a TikTok video, she decided to show a movie in class since the students were dealing with standardized testing, and she wanted to give them an educational break.
Prior to showing the film, she had her students send home a PG movie permission slip and said all but one were signed. However, since the girl whose parents refused to sign the sheet wasn’t there, she played the movie.
The Hernando County school district said a mother reported Barbee to the board. It should be noted that Rodriguez’s daughter is a student in Barbee’s class. When the board member learned about the movie, she reported her before meeting with Barbee to allow her to address the situation and apologize.
Barbee was respectful when the two met in the principal’s office and understood her concerns.
Unfortunately, she later discovered that she had been reported before Rodriguez expressed her disapproval in the meeting with the teacher and principal, making it appear that the board member was trying to ruin Barbee’s career without giving her a chance to explain herself.
“I’m a first-year teacher. I’ve had to learn so much this year,” Barbee said to USA Today. “I work with teachers who have taught for 20 years, 30 years, tell me every day it never used to be like this.
She continued, “Times have changed so much and they are so micromanaged, they’re not allowed to teach anymore. They’re basically a caregiver who has to teach the standards. Teachers stay for the children, but because of the laws and the fear of being let go for saying one wrong thing, they can’t connect to their students.”
Rodriguez argued at a board meeting that Barbee broke school policy by not getting approval from the administration and claimed the fifth-grade teacher was “playing the victim.”
“It is not a teacher’s job to impose their beliefs upon a child: religious, sexual orientation, gender identity, any of the above,” Rodriguez said. “But allowing movies such as this, assist teachers in opening a door, and please hear me, they assist teachers in opening the door for conversations that have no place in our classrooms.”
In her TikTok video, Barbee mentioned how she followed protocol by having the permission slips sent out to parents. She questioned if parents knew their children would be interrogated alone during class time, which could traumatize the students.
“Their teacher showed a movie to help them connect to our curriculum and learn some valuable life lessons, but the minor representations that have nothing to do with the movie are such a big deal that now an admin is in the room, pulling their teacher out, calling the students one by one down to the office to interrogate them in the middle of my lessons.”
She continued, “By the way, they don’t even have to have a signed parent permission slip for that. This investigator is allowed to come and pulled them out. A letter got sent out to some of the students, but I doubt a lot of my parents are even going to get it. And if they don’t call and object, the interrogator is allowed to just pull them out.”
She added, “I am not and never would indoctrinate anyone to follow my beliefs,” but said that because it’s a public school system where students of all backgrounds come to learn, every one of them should be represented and celebrated.
@becomingabetterbarbee I am the teacher. Here is the truth. #indoctrination #disneymovie #disney #strangeworld #viraltweet ♬ original sound – Jenna Lynn
Rodriguez has made it her mission to kiss DeSantis’ ass and attempt to remove any books and content from schools representing the LGBTQIA+ community because she sees it as “porn” and “smut,” according to Suncoast News.
DeSantis’ offensive and biased law enacted last year was the flawed state governor’s attempt to stop the Democrat’s alleged “woke agenda.” He felt teaching anything regarding sexual orientation and gender identity influenced the youth politically.
Critics called DeSantis’ law the “Don’t Say Gay” bill because they felt the law was vague purposefully to where the Republican lawmakers just didn’t want anything “gay” taught in schools.
Ironically, Barbee is investigated for showing a Disney film in class with a gay character while Walt Disney World is battling out in court with DeSantis because they stood against his inherently homophobic bill.