A Florida teacher is under investigation by the state Department of Education after what she believes is a targeted attack by a school board member who took issue with a Disney movie shown in her classroom. At a Hernando County School Board meeting Tuesday, fifth-grade teacher Jenna Barbee alleges school board member Shannon Rodriguez reported her to DOE for showing her students Disney’s 2022 movie “Strange World.” It’s the first Disney movie with an out, gay character.
Barbee, a teacher at Winding Waters K-8, said during public comment the Disney movie tied into her students’ Earth science lesson and did not have sexually inappropriate content.
She said, “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.”
Florida educators are prohibited from teaching about gender and sexual identity due to the Parental Rights in Education Act, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year. Also known as “Don’t Say Gay” by critics, teachers have expressed anxiety and confusion over the vague wording of the law for fear of losing their teaching licenses or criminal penalties if found in non-compliance.