Things are getting dicey in Florida. A fifth-grade teacher showed her students a Disney film that included a gay character.
Have any of the students suffered irreparable harm? Have any of them turned gay since viewing the film? These are questions that demand answers in light of the state’s law banning exposure to anything gay.
Fortunately the state has no problems bigger than protecting children from exposure to anything about gay people.
The Florida Department of Education could visit a K-8 school in Hernando County as early as Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into a fifth-grade teacher’s decision to show a Disney movie featuring a gay character in her classroom.
A letter sent home to parents Friday and obtained by the Miami Herald indicated a representative from the Office of Professional Practices of the state’s education department “will be on campus on or about Wednesday, May 17, 2023.” If the parent has no objection, the representative “may interview your daughter/son in connection with an investigation of a Florida certified educator,” the letter read….
Winding Waters K-8 has made national headlines in recent days over teacher Jenna Barbee’s decision to play the 2022 movie “Strange World” — which features Disney’s first character who is out and gay, and is rated PG — and the Department of Education’s decision to investigate her after a school board member allegedly reported the incident….
Barbee has spoken publicly about the incident and defended her decision, arguing the movie was related to her students’ science lessons and did not have sexually inappropriate content — now a polarizing political issue in the state.
The Parental Rights in Education Act, passed last year and known by critics as “Don’t Say Gay,” prohibits educators from teaching about gender and sexual identity in kindergarten through third grade, and in older grades in cases when the lessons are deemed to be not “age appropriate.”
Educators, however, have routinely expressed concern about the law’s vague wording and the subjectivity of deciding what is considered age appropriate. “Nobody in my class, including myself, thought anything of the little bit of LGBTQ [topics] going on with that one main character” and the supporting character, Barbee told the Herald Monday. “Because of this, my students are [questioning] why this is such a big deal…”
Barbee has no plans to return to the classroom next year. She had already submitted her resignation before the incident occurred, she told the Herald.
At least we know she won’t be fired. She already quit.