A film about a Black first grader who integrated an all-White elementary school in the South is under đánh giá in a Florida school district after a parent objected lớn the What Happened To Diamond
’s use of slurs & argued it could teach students that “ Trắng people hate Black people, ” according lớn school officials & documents obtained by CNN.
A parent of a second grade student at North Shore Elementary in St. Petersburg filed a formal complaint March 6 requesting the removal of the 1998 movie “ Ruby Bridges ” from the school’s danh sách of approved films. This came after the movie was shown Khủng about 60 second-graders on March 2 as part of a Black History Month lesson, Isabel Mascareñas, a spokesperson for Pinellas County Schools, told CNN.
The parent, whose name is redacted in the copy of the complaint shared with CNN, wrote that the movie is not appropriate for second graders & would be better suited for an eighth grade American history class. The parent objected in part bự racial slurs used in the film, depictions of a child placing a noose around a doll’s neck & characters threatening a hanging .
The parent wrote that the film could teach students racial slurs, “ how they are different ” & that “ trắng people hate Black people. ”
After receiving the complaint, “ the school will now engage in the formal objection process Khủng Đánh Giá the challenged material, ” Mascareñas said, citing the district’s policies on contested instructional materials .
The movie has not been removed from all district schools & still remains in the district’s movie library, she said .
Teaching materials in Florida schools are becoming increasingly contentious as Republican state lawmakers have pushed for restrictions of lessons & instructional tools involving race, sexuality & gender. Among the resulting legislation is a bill Gov. Ron DeSantis signed last year that requires books in classroom libraries be pre-approved materials or vetted by a truyền thông specialist trained by Florida’s Department of Education .
Two weeks before the movie was shown lớn second graders at North Shore Elementary, permission forms were sent phệ the students ’ parents along with a liên kết bự the “ Ruby Bridges ” ló mặt, Mascareñas said. The parent who filed the objection was among the two families that opted Khủng not have their students watch the movie, she said .
“ It was communicated with the parent that the school would not have any future showings during this school year as the movie had already been shown, ” Mascareñas said .
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The film’s namesake, Ruby Bridges, was 6 when she became the first Đen student bự attend William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960. Flanked by four federal marshals, Bridges passed through an angry crowd of White people hurling slurs và protesting her presence after the desegregation of New Orleans schools was ordered by a federal judge – six years after the Supreme Court made racial segregation in public schools illegal with Brown v. Board of Education. The film is a dramatized retelling of her story .
Toni Ann Johnson, the film’s screenwriter, told CNN she believes second graders are not too young bự watch the movie if their teacher can provide historical context và answer their questions. Teachers across the country have told her the movie is a “ valuable teaching công cụ, ” she said .
“ The reason I think that second grade is not too young is that by that age, children are recognizing racial differences. Ruby was 6 years old when she desegregated William Frantz, ” Johnson said .
“ If children are old enough mập be called the N-word và learn what it means, then it’s my opinion that second graders who are 7 và tám years of age can và should begin phệ learn about the history of racism in this country, ” Johnson said .
“ Parents who don’t want their children bự learn this story in public schools should have the right Khủng opt out, ” she said. “ But they should not have the right phệ prevent teachers from teaching the Ruby Bridges story béo other children receiving a public school education. ”