The school district of Florida is investigating a fifth-grade teacher after she showed her students “Strange World”, a Disney film that features a gay protagonist. The school district says the teacher didn’t ask for permission before showing the film, but the teacher claims the investigation was an abuse of power.
The cartoon film includes a gay role named Ethan Clade. It is played by the openly gay comic Jaboukie White.
Jenna Barbee, a first-year instructor at Winding Waters, K-8, in Hernando County (Florida), has been investigated by the Hernando County school district for showing this movie.
Barbee claimed that she only needed to sign permission slips to show PG-rated films to her students. She said she did.
However, a member of the school board said that the teacher had not received approval from the principal or administrators. Both are required before a film can be shown.
Barbee stated in a TikTok clip that the film was not shown to students because of the gay character but because they were studying the Earth and ecosystems.
The teacher explained that she had been exposed for showing the film when a female pupil told her mother about the viewing. This particular student was the daughter of Shannon Rodriguez, a member of the school board.
The teacher was reported to have taken shots at Rodriguez in a meeting of the school board on May 9, 2023. She said that she had abused her power as a member of the school board, rather than acting out as a parent who is concerned.
Barbee stated that “the word indoctrination” is being used a lot, but those who use it seem to be using it as a defensive tactic without understanding its true meaning,” Barbee explained. The most bizarre thing about all of this is that she’s allowed to abuse her power and nothing is done about it.
Rodriguez stated at the meeting that she was no longer able to have a conversation about “birds and bees” with her son, nor was she able to decide when to start the conversation.
Rodriguez stated, “I don’t want to follow policy or procedure. I just want to have those conversations.” “Ms. Barbee deprived me of my parental right to have these conversations prematurely,” Rodriguez said.
The investigation continues.