BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – Winding Waters K-8 Teacher Jenna Barbee is one of nearly 50 teachers planning to resign from the district, according to a Hernando County Schools spokesperson.
Barbee made national headlines after showing fifth-grade students the Disney movie, “Strange World” which portrays a gay teenager. A district spokesperson shared Barbee played the film on May 3rd.
The teacher had already submitted her resignation to the school district before the incident. A district spokesperson said Barbee submitted her resignation on April 27.
A report made by school board member Shannon Rodriguez prompted the Florida Department of Education to investigate Barbee’s actions.
“Follow the rules. You expect your kids to follow your classroom rules, well you have rules as a teacher,” said Ken Mayon, a Hernando County Schools parent.
HCS teachers are supposed to receive school leadership permission before showing any film in class, regardless of rating.
At a school board meeting Tuesday night, community members on both sides of the issue are expected to share their input.
“My personal opinion is that the current political climate is trying to remove diversity and inclusiveness, and I find that a problem,” said David Bond, a Hernando County Schools parent.
On May 18th, a district spokesperson told 8 On Your Side the district had 150 unfilled instructional positions. Nearly fifty teachers resigning would impact the staffing problem.