A 5th-grade teacher in Florida who is under investigation for showing her students an LGBTQ-themed Disney movie has claimed that “rights as a parent, those rights are gone when your child is in the public school system.”
The teacher, Jenna Barbee, made the comments during a CNN appearance on Tuesday.
Barbee, a first-year educator at Winding Waters K-8 school in Brooksville, was reported after showing the movie Strange World, which features an openly gay character, on May 3.
In a letter to parents after the movie showing, the school district said that the matter was under review.
“Yesterday, the Disney movie ‘Strange World’ was shown in your child’s classroom,” the school district said. “While not the main plot of the movie, parts of the story involves a male character having and expressing feelings for another male character. In the future, this movie will not be shown. The school administration and the district’s Professional Standards Dept is currently reviewing the matter to see if further corrective action is required.”
Barbee is under investigation by the school and the state’s Education Department.
On Saturday, Barbee posted a TikTok video explaining that she had been reported for indoctrination by a parent who is also a Hernando County School Board member.
@becomingabetterbarbee I am the teacher. Here is the truth. #indoctrination #disneymovie #disney #strangeworld #viraltweet ♬ original sound – Jenna Lynn
“This is the public education system, where students from all backgrounds, cultures and religions are welcomed and should be celebrated and represented. I am not and never would indoctrinate anyone to follow my beliefs,” Barbee said. “I will, however, always be a safe person to come to that spreads the message of kindness, positivity and compassion for everyone.”
Barbee spoke at the school board meeting last week and confronted the parent who reported her, school board member Shannon Rodriguez.
Rodriguez held firm in her position, accusing the teacher of “stripping the innocence” of her ten year old child.
“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. “Allowing movies such as this assist teachers in opening a door … for conversations that have no place in our classrooms.”
Rodriguez added, “As a leader in this community, I’m not going to stand by and allow this minority to infiltrate our schools.”
Appearing on CNN, Barbee said that your “rights as a parent, those rights are gone when your child is in the public school system.”
Florida 5th grade teacher who showed students an LGBT-themed Disney movie: “Ignorant” of parents to complain.
Your “rights as a parent, those rights are gone when your child is in the public school system” pic.twitter.com/YkJbaPQOPk
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 16, 2023
Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law bars teaching sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools through grade 12.