Home » Disney movie about Ruby Bridges banned from Florida school

Disney movie about Ruby Bridges banned from Florida school

by The Grio

Years after schools in Pinellas County, Florida, started including Disney’s “Ruby Bridges” in its Black History Month curriculum, a parent’s complaint has halted the showing on one campus pending a review.

The 1998 film tells the story of young Black girl Bridges, who was a 6-year-old pupil when she integrated a Louisiana school in 1960. The plan to desegregate New Orleans’ public schools was met with so much hate and protest, federal marshals were assigned to escort the child to and from school.

Earlier this month, according to The Tampa Bay Times, a parent of a second-grader at North Shore Elementary School in St. Petersburg opted not to let their child see the movie after the school sent permission slips. Days later, Emily Conklin filed a formal challenge with the Pinellas County school district. The scenes of white people threatening and hurling racial slurs at a little Black girl, she wrote, could teach students that white people hate Black people.

In response, county school officials banned the showing of the movie at North Shore until a review committee weighs in, though other district schools can still use it. That’s not fair, opponents of the ban say.

In an open letter to the community, a group representing the interests of Black public school students asked why one parent’s complaint should affect all of the school’s families, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

“Many from historically marginalized communities are asking whether this so-called integrated education system in Pinellas County can even serve the diverse community fairly and equitably,” wrote Ric Davis, president of the Concerned Organization for Quality Education for Black Students.

In an earlier case this year, after the district banned “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison, from its high schools, officials said they were following a state rule to “err on the side of caution” when someone raises a…

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