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Teacher Is Being Investigated For Showing A Disney Movie To Her Class

A Florida fifth-grade teacher is being investigated for showing a Disney movie to her class.
Credit: @becomingabetterbarbee/TikTok

A teacher is being investigated for showing a Disney movie to her class.

Jenna Barbee is a fifth-grade teacher at Winding Waters K-8 in Brooksville, Florida, which is about an hour away from Tampa.

She wanted to show her students a science fiction film which tied into what she was teaching.

However, it has landed her in some trouble.

Watch the trailer for the Disney movie here…

Barbee showed her students Strange World – an animated film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Dennis Quaid.

The film follows a family of explorers as they go on a journey to a mysterious subterranean land that is inhabited by surreal life forms.

While the film received positive reviews, it bombed at the box office and only grossed $73.6 million on a budget of $180 million.

One of the big talking points in the lead-up to its release was that it was the first Disney film to have an openly gay character – Ethan who has a crush on another male character.

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Since showing Strange World to her students, Barbee has revealed she is now under investigation by the school district and state Department of Education.

In a TikTok post, which has been viewed 4.5 million times, the teacher has told her side of the story.

She claims that she chose the film because it fitted with the class curriculum – as she had been teaching her students about earth science and ecosystems.

The teacher adds that she received permission slips from all of the parents saying they were OK with the movie being screened – since the film is PG.

Strange World
The Florida teacher is under investigation for showing the Disney movie Strange World to her class. Credit: Disney

She says that the LGBTQI subplot of the story was not the reason she chose to show Strange World.

However, one of the students told her mother about the film – who was on the school’s board of directors.

This led to being reported to Florida’s state education department for ‘indoctrination’.

In her TikTok post, Barbee adds: “And it’s not a big deal to me so I just said, ‘OK, that’s awesome, do you’. Not pushing anything, just being accepting. That’s what I do.

“Does that have anything to do with why I showed it? Not in the slightest.

“The LGBTQ aspect of the movie is harmless. It’s just a talked about crush and it’s only a couple of lines in a total scene time of just over two minutes.”

@becomingabetterbarbee I am the teacher. Here is the truth. #indoctrination #disneymovie #disney #strangeworld #viraltweet ♬ original sound – Jenna Lynn

Barbee goes on to say some of her students didn’t even notice the subplot – nor did they make a big deal of it.

The teacher continues: “Now there is an investigator from the Florida Department of Education coming to pull my students out of class to investigate them individually.

“Do you know the trauma that that is going to cause to some of my students? They are fifth graders.

“Some of them can barely come up and have a conversation with me and are just getting comfortable with me, and now an investigator is allowed to come and interrogate them?

“Are you kidding me?”

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The issue is controversial because Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act into law in 2022.

This restricts discussions on topics like s**ual and gender identity in classrooms between teachers and students.

It has been dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.