Florida Teacher Under Investigation For Showing Disney Movie Containing a Gay Character

Nicole Martin, Senior Copy Editor

A fifth-grade teacher at Winding Waters K-8 in Hernando County, Fla., Jenna Barbee is currently under investigation for showing a Disney movie containing a gay character to her classroom.

Barbee’s actions came under fire after an angry parent and school board member, Shannon Rodriguez, reported the teacher for showing the Disney Pixar film, “Strange World” to the Florida State Department of Education. Although parents signed a waiver allowing their children to watch PG-rated movies in the classroom, Rodriguez claims that specific movies like “Strange World” should require a waiver due to the Florida Bill known as “Don’t Say Gay” and its ban on LGBTQ+ topics being taught to classrooms.

Barbee played the film due to its relation to their unit on earth sciences and ecosystems. While the film’s focus primarily centers on family and adventures and only consists of one gay character, Rodriguez and others believe that the film imposes beliefs and ideologies that are inappropriate for elementary children. On the other hand, some oppose the investigation, claiming that such topics are already known and open to fifth grade children, and that they cannot nor should avoid such topics of discussion.

The investigation is currently continuing according to Florida Department of Education press secretary Cassie Palelis, and will then go to an attorney.