(CNN) — A fifth-grade teacher says she is under investigation by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) after she showed her students “Strange World,” a Disney movie featuring a biracial character and gay.
Jenna Barbee is a teacher at Winding Waters, a K-8 school in Hernando County. “I am the teacher who is under investigation by the Florida Department of Education for indoctrination for showing a Disney movie,” Barbee said in a TikTok post over the weekend.
In the post, Barbee explains that she played the Disney movie to a class that was partially full, after a day of standardized testing. He also says that she had previously signed permission slips from all parents, allowing students to see a movie rated general audiences.
According to Barbee, a parent complained and reported her to the FLDOE.
Hernando County School District officials confirmed to the Tallahassee Democrat that a fifth-grade teacher is under investigation for showing Disney’s “Strange World” and that a parent complained to the director that the film was inappropriate for students. .
On May 9, Barbee addressed school board members during public comment at a meeting. Shannon Rodríguez, a member of the school board, acknowledged during the meeting that she was the one who filed the complaint.
“A school board member, an elected power official, who was supposed to be nonpartisan, is allowed to tell the public that she is a Christian and that God appointed her to the board. And yet she says that I am the one that indoctrinates by showing a Disney movie. I’m a freshman teacher,” Barbee said.
The teacher told the district board members that the film was in no way sexual and tied to the current lesson plan on the environment and ecosystems.
Barbee claimed at the meeting that Rodriguez “came to my school and took me away from my students to tell me how bad and wrong I was.”
At the end of the school board meeting, Rodriguez said she called the state Department of Education regarding the incident that prompted the state investigation.
She says that her daughter is in Barbee’s class.
The woman said Barbee violated school policy because she failed to get school administration to approve the specific film and said the teacher is “playing the victim,” she told the district meeting.
“It’s not a teacher’s job to force their beliefs on a child: religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, any of the above. But allowing movies like this to help teachers open a door, and please hear me out, they help teachers to open a door for conversations that have no place in our classrooms,” Rodríguez said.
Rodríguez said that “as a leader in this community, I am not going to sit idly by and allow this minority to infiltrate our schools… God put me here,” he said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last year banning certain instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom, approving the controversial measure that opponents have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
That new law states that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties about sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur from kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not appropriate for the age or development of students in accordance with state standards.”
CNN has reached out to Rodriguez, the Hernando County School District and the FLDOE for comment.
Jordan also provided CNN with a copy of the Hernando County School District Department of Communications announcement that was sent to parents regarding the matter:
“Yesterday, the Disney movie ‘Strange World’ was shown in your son’s classroom. While not the main plot of the movie, parts of the story do involve a male character having and expressing feelings for another male character. “In the future, this film will not be shown. The matter is being reviewed by school administration and the District’s Professional Standards Department to see if additional corrective action is required. Thank you.”