Blame Florida man Ron DeSantis.
The classic Disney movie “Ruby Bridges” has been a staple in Black History Month lessons for years, but this year it’s causing some major heat. One parent at North Shore Elementary in Pinellas, Florida, complained that the film wasn’t appropriate for second graders because it had racial slurs and white people were threatening Ruby. She was worried that kids might learn that white people hate Black people.
So what happened? Pinellas school officials responded by banning the movie for ALL students at North Shore until a review committee could assess it. But now there’s a group that represents the interests of Black children in Pinellas public schools, and they’re questioning why one parent’s complaint resulted in actions that affect all families at North Shore. They’re even wondering if the education system in Pinellas County can even serve the diverse community fairly and equitably.
This isn’t the first time Pinellas County has been in hot water over censoring educational materials. Just earlier this year, Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” was banned from all district high schools after one parent complained about a two-page rape scene. District officials cited new state law and a rule telling them to “err on the side of caution” when considering whether books should be used in classrooms and libraries.