Gov. Tim Walz said a Florida teacher who believes parents have no rights in the public education system is “welcome” in Minnesota.
“Florida teachers and families: If you’re looking for a place where you can live in 2023, you’re welcome in Minnesota,” Walz wrote on Twitter this week.
Florida teachers and families: If you’re looking for a place where you can live in 2023, you’re welcome in Minnesota. https://t.co/1O5qVwCEx7
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) May 16, 2023
Walz was responding to a CNN article about a Florida teacher, Jenna Barbee, who is under investigation by her state’s Department of Education for showing a Disney movie featuring the “first-ever out-gay character.”
In an interview with CNN the teacher shared her belief that parental rights don’t exist in the classroom.
The “rights as a parent, those rights are gone when your child is in the public school system,” said Barbee, a fifth-grade teacher in Henderson County, “because there are students talking about these things. It’s where they get 90 percent of their socialization for the day and we can’t shut down every conversation every child has.”
Florida teacher in @HernandoSchools says parents don’t have rights in their children’s education:
"rights as a parent, those rights are gone when your child is in the public school system." pic.twitter.com/wcZRhReuHY
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) May 16, 2023
She accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of “trying to get rid of all diversity elements out of schools completely.”
“They’re trying to strip individuality and diversity to fit one common agenda,” Barbee added. “It’s ruining everything.”
Barbee is under investigation for violating Florida’s new law that bars teachers in Pre-K through eighth grade from instructing students on “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Barbee violated the policy, a parent alleges, by showing her fifth-grade class the animated Disney movie “Strange World.”
The movie features a gay teen romance between two boys, which, while not the main plot of the story, some parents had problems with. The school said in a statement after the fact that the movie would not be shown again.
One parent, a board member of the school district, spoke out against the movie being shown, saying it “assists teachers in opening a door for conversations that have no place in our classrooms.”
Barbee responded to the parent, calling her “ignorant” and said that the doors for those types of conversations are “already opened.”