A Florida Educator Who Screened a Disney Film Featuring a Homosexual Character is Now Facing an Inquiry!

Following the screening of a Disney animated film with an openly homosexual character to her fifth grade children, a Florida teacher claims she is under investigation by both her school and the state’s Education Department.

Jenna Barbee, a teacher at Winding Waters K-8 in Brooksville, roughly an hour north of Tampa, said in a widely shared TikTok video that she was accused of playing the 2022 film “Strange World” on May 3 by a parent who also sits on the local school board. Barbee leveled a related charge last week during a meeting of the school board.

Ethan Clade, a gay character in the PG-rated animated picture about a family of renowned explorers, harbors feelings for another male character. She said in her TikTok video that despite the movie’s opening statement of his crush, his sexuality is never again discussed.

After a long day of standardized testing, Barbee, a first-year teacher, claimed she wanted to give her pupils a respite and decided to show them the science fiction film since it related to the subjects she was teaching in her science class. She stated that at the start of the academic year, parents gave their consent in writing for her to show their children PG-rated movies.

“Is there a gay character in the movie? Certainly,” she said. Do you know why I displayed it? No.”

Requests for feedback from Barbee did not immediately receive a response.

Florida Educator Who Screened a Disney Film Featuring a Homosexual Character

She said in her TikTok video that the parent and Hernando County School Board member who reported her to the state claimed she had compromised pupils’ safety by indoctrinating them about LGBTQ identities.

Students from all origins, ethnicities, and faiths are welcome in this public educational system and ought to be valued and represented. Barbee asserted that she would never force someone to adopt her ideas. “I will, however, always be a safe person to come to that spreads the message of kindness, positivity, and compassion for everyone.

Barbee first disclosed the purported inquiry in public at the school board meeting last week, which was filmed and made available online by the district. At that time, she named the board member as Shannon Rodriguez.

In response, Barbee was charged with “stripping the innocence” of her 10-year-old kid by Barbee by showing the movie at the board meeting.

“It is not the responsibility of a teacher to impose their beliefs on a child, whether they be religious, sexual, gender, or any of the above,” she stated. “Allowing films like this helps teachers open a door… for conversations that have no place in our classrooms,” the statement reads.

She said, “As a leader in this community, I’m not going to stand idly by and allow this minority to infiltrate our schools.”

Requests for response from the school board and Rodriguez were not immediately answered.

According to Barbee’s social media post, school administrators and an Education Department investigator will speak with each of her students individually to ask them about the movie, with or without their parents’ permission. This claim has not been verified by NBC News.

“Do you realize the trauma that will be inflicted upon some of my students by that?” They are fifth graders, according to Barbee. When some of them are just beginning to feel comfortable around me and can hardly come up to talk to me, why are they suddenly being questioned by an investigator in my office?

Florida Educator Who Screened a Disney Film Featuring a Homosexual Character

A representative for the Education Department responded to a request for comment on Barbee’s charges by outlining the procedure for looking into claims of teacher misconduct but declined to address the allegations against Barbee explicitly.

The spokesman, Cassandra Palelis, stated in an email, “I understand that the individual in question has discussed her case publicly.” “However, we won’t let politics and media pressure control our decision-making process.”

In an email, Winding Waters K-8’s public relations officer, Karen Jordan, stated that “the matter is currently under investigation.” Jordan also provided the email that school administrators had given to parents earlier this month, informing them that the movie would no longer be presented to kids.

In the midst of a national discussion about whether LGBTQ issues should be taught in schools, Barbee is the target of a complaint. Nowhere else in the country has the argument been as heated as it has been in Florida.

Last year, Florida legislators passed a divisive education bill that opponents have called the “Don’t Say Gay” law. The Education Department has passed a regulation to extend the restriction until grade 12, and the legislation prohibits the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in years K–3. A measure that forbids Florida’s public institutions from using taxpayer money to pay for diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives was signed into law on Monday by the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.

One of Florida’s greatest employers, Disney, has also been drawn into the conflict. The business and DeSantis have mostly disagreed ever since the corporation spoke out against the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” rule. Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis last month, citing “targeted campaign of government retaliation” against the business for voicing opposition to the bill. DeSantis is about to announce a candidacy for president.

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