Jenna Barbee, a teacher at Winding Waters K-8 school in Hernando County, said she showed the movie because it was relevant to her lesson on ecosystems and the environment. The film tells the story of a family of explorers who travel to a strange and fantastical world.
One of Barbee’s students told her mother about the movie, who then complained to the school board. The school board has since launched an investigation into Barbee’s actions.
Barbee said she is not sure why she is being investigated. She said she followed all the proper procedures and obtained permission from the parents of her students before showing the movie.
“I’m just trying to do my job,” Barbee said. “I’m not trying to push any agenda.”
The investigation into Barbee is part of a larger trend in Florida of targeting LGBTQ+ people. In March, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that bans teachers from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade.
The law has been widely criticized by LGBTQ+ advocates and educators. They argue that the law is discriminatory and will harm LGBTQ+ students.
The investigation into Barbee is a reminder of the hostile environment that LGBTQ+ people face in Florida. It is also a reminder of the importance of fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.
The Importance of LGBTQ+ Representation in Education
LGBTQ+ representation in education is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps to normalize LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. When students see themselves represented in their classrooms, it sends the message that they are accepted and valued.
Second, LGBTQ+ representation can help to combat bullying and harassment. When students see LGBTQ+ people represented in a positive light, it can help to challenge negative stereotypes and make it less likely that they will be bullied or harassed.
Third, LGBTQ+ representation can help to increase LGBTQ+ students’ academic achievement. Studies have shown that LGBTQ+ students who have positive role models and who feel supported by their teachers are more likely to succeed academically.
The Impact of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law
Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law is a harmful law that will have a negative impact on LGBTQ+ students. The law will make it more difficult for LGBTQ+ students to see themselves represented in their classrooms, and it will make it more difficult for them to get the support they need to succeed academically.
The law is also a dangerous precedent. It sets a dangerous precedent for other states, and it could lead to further restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights.
What You Can Do to Help
There are a number of things you can do to help LGBTQ+ students in Florida. You can contact your elected officials and urge them to repeal the “Don’t Say Gay” law. You can also donate to organizations that are working to support LGBTQ+ students in Florida.
You can also help by speaking out against discrimination and hate speech. When you see someone being harassed or discriminated against, speak up. Let them know that you support them and that you are there for them.
Together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students in Florida.