Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Investigation of teacher for showing students a Disney movie with gay character may prove that FL law does unfairly target LGBTQ community

It looks like Florida Gov Ron DeSantis may be in another self-made mess. This one comes from the 'Don't Say Gay' law he pushed through the legislature in order to build up his "culture warrior" reputation in anticipation of his all but certain presidential run.

According to The Miami Herald:

The Florida Department of Education could visit a K-8 school in Hernando County as early as Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into a fifth-grade teacher’s decision to show a Disney movie featuring a gay character in her classroom. 

 The Tallahassee Democrat broke down how all of this began:

 A Florida teacher is under investigation by the state Department of Education after what she believes is a targeted attack by a school board member who took issue with a Disney movie shown in her classroom. 

 At a Hernando County School Board meeting Tuesday, fifth-grade teacher Jenna Barbee alleges school board member Shannon Rodriguez reported her to DOE for showing her students Disney's 2022 movie "Strange World." It's the first Disney movie with an out, gay character. Barbee, a teacher at Winding Waters K-8, said during public comment the Disney movie tied into her students' Earth science lesson and did not have sexually inappropriate content.

The Miami Herald went on to say:

 The expected visit would be the first time a department official is to visit the school since the investigation’s onset. On Monday, the department confirmed no one from the state had visited the school, “nor has contacted any students” about the movie. Barbee, however, said some students last week were questioned about the event by school administration. 

 . . . Barbee has spoken publicly about the incident and defended her decision, arguing the movie was related to her students’ science lessons and did not have sexually inappropriate content — now a polarizing political issue in the state. 
The Parental Rights in Education Act, passed last year and known by critics as “Don’t Say Gay,” prohibits educators from teaching about gender and sexual identity in kindergarten through third grade, and in older grades in cases when the lessons are deemed to be not “age appropriate.” Educators, however, have routinely expressed concern about the law’s vague wording and the subjectivity of deciding what is considered age appropriate.

The vague wording of the law was what DeSantis and his allies were counting on to refute claims that it targeted LGBTQ people. DeSantis has said on more than one occasion that the law was necessary to keep children from being exposed to sexually explicit discussions.

So much for that claim.

'Florida agencies accused of manipulating research to ban trans care and coverage' & other Tue midday news briefs

Florida Agencies Manipulated Research To Ban Trans Care And Coverage - Manipulate and cherry-pick research are the same tactics the opposition did to undermine gay rights. 

Residents vote against school funding after rightwingers protest “demonic” trans bathroom policy- They are only hurting themselves and their children. That's the saddest part.