A Florida fifth-grade teacher claims the state Department of Education is investigating her for “inappropriate conduct” after screening her students Disney’s 2022 animated film Strange World.
The idea to screen the movie as a “brain break” came after a long morning of standardized testing.
The film stars an openly gay named Ethan and has a love storyline involving Ethan and his crush, Diazo.
Barbee turned to TikTok to explain her decision, claiming that she chose the clip because it was relevant to the class’s curriculum, which is now focused on ecosystems. While she stressed that the LGBTQ+ aspect was not the main purpose for screening the film, she classified it as “harmless.”
Barbee claims she was reported to the state by a school board member who has actively opposed any type of representation in schools. Notably, the board member’s daughter was in the classroom during the Strange World movie.
On May 11, Barbee’s buddy Carl Zee posted a photo of a letter from the Florida Department of Education saying that the instructor is being investigated for “inappropriate conduct.”
My buddy exhibited Disney’s Strange World in a Florida school, and one student told their parents about it. She is now being investigated by the state.
Florida is not safe for teachers, DO NOT MOVE HERE:
The letter instructed prospective witnesses and anybody in possession of pertinent documents to submit them to the authorized office within two weeks.
Barbee described her children’s shock in a TikTok video on May 13 once they realized the significance of the incident.
“They didn’t even know this was a big deal until the board member and the state made it a big deal,” she stated in her 6-minute video.
She claimed to have permission sheets from Disney for PG movies signed by each of the student’s parents.
Barbee questioned the investigation’s motivation and expressed concern about the message it sends to the students.
“They’re using it against me, saying they’re ‘protecting the children’ and it’s for their safety. But what is this actually showing them?” she pondered.
Barbee went on to say that the probe is more “traumatizing” for the kids than the film itself.
“But the minor representations, that have nothing to do with the movie, are such a big deal that now admin in is in their room, pulling their teacher out, calling the students one by one down to the office to interrogate them in the middle of my lessons,” she said.
Barbee claimed that prior to the movie screening, some of her students informed her that they were members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Barbee said: “For those of you who are throwing hate my way without knowing me or my true intentions, you may learn a thing or two from that movie. Follow your heart, find the compassion, find the kindness. It’s the key to a better positive life.”