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What Cultural Conservatives Can Learn From a Florida Fifth Grade Teacher | Opinion

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Disney movie Strange World, which features an openly gay character. Soon afterward, Shannon Rodriguez, a local parent who happened to be a member of the school board, had Barbee suspended and launched an investigation against her, invoking Florida's Parental Rights in Education law (otherwise known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill) which prohibits the sexual indoctrination of students.As one might expect, legacy news media have made hay with this story, which they allege shows how Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' new law was really a pretext to discriminate against LGBT people, not an attempt to protect kids' innocence.

The story also suggests that cultural conservatives are more paranoid and vindictive than truly worried about students' well being.All that said, it's worth asking whether Jenna Barbee really is a groomer or a hapless victim of belligerent conservative culture warriors—because she might be neither.

Speaking from my own perspective as a high school teacher, it's complicated. While I sympathize with Rodriguez's concerns, this whole issue was needlessly escalated and mostly detracts from issues that bother parents more than leftist indoctrination.Even though I think Barbee erred in showing the movie—which she should have known would upset parents who disagree with its pro-LGBT messaging—this incident alone doesn't qualify as "queering the kids" or "woke indoctrination." Nor was it appropriate for Rodriguez to go above both Barbee and the school's administrators to discipline her.

A simple phone call would have been enough.After all is said and done in this particular case, Jenna Barbee will probably become a local celebrity and end up working for a better school, and Shannon Rodriguez will likely lose her.

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