Florida Parent Files Complaint To Stop Teachers From Showing The ‘Ruby Bridges’ Movie In School

A Florida school has banned Disney’s Ruby Bridges film.

The movie, about the first Black student to integrate an all-white school in New Orleans, was pulled after a parent argued the film would teach their children about the heinousness of racism.

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According to The Guardian, the parent, Emily Conklin, filed an official complaint to stop the North Shore Elementary School from showing Ruby Bridges. In the document, she argued the content wasn’t appropriate for second graders and the Disney movie would show the students that “white people hate Black people.” In addition, Conklin noted the movie’s use of several racial slurs and one instance where adults yell, “I’m going to hang you!”

She also said Ruby Bridges would be more appropriate for an eighth-grade class.

Conklin’s outrage sparked a few weeks ago after the school sent permission slips to parents asking their consent to show the movie to their children. Conklin refused to let her child watch the film, as did another family.

North Shore Elementary responded to the complaint by instructing teachers not to show the film until a committee has evaluated Conklin’s concerns. That decision inspired a local group representing Black students to speak out, 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,” Ric Davis, president of Concerned Organization for Quality Education for Black students, wrote.

Meanwhile, the writer of the film, who’s white, says Conklin and her fellow protestors are misunderstanding Ruby Bridges, according to Atlanta Black Star.

“Ruby Bridges, a film I wrote that was released twenty-five years ago, is banned in a Florida school because a full-of-s**t parent thinks ‘the movie might teach white children to hate Black children.’ It teaches white children to empathize with Ruby,” Toni Ann Johnson tweeted about the complaint.

Not everyone thinks Ruby Bridges would do more harm than good for schoolchildren. Goliath Davis, a former St. Petersburg police chief and deputy mayor, spoke up about the ban.

“I was stunned to hear the news and thought it must be an idle rumor. I asked myself, what objection could there possibly be to a historical fact of courage and an attempt to obtain an equal education in America?” Davis penned in The Weekly Challenger.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., agrees. She shared on Twitter that removing Ruby Bridges from school is Florida’s push to “erase history.”

Shameful what Republicans & @GovRonDeSantis are doing to our schools,” she wrote in part.