Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day
Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day (RBWTSD) is the perfect opportunity to teach children about the civil rights movement and make connections to today’s collective efforts for change. RBWTSD gives children the chance to celebrate Ruby’s courage by walking to school. This year RBWTSD will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. The BCS PTA is encouraging all BCS students to participate.
In 1954 the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. ended racial segregation in public schools. However, southern states continued to resist. In 1960 a federal court ordered Louisiana schools to desegregate. Ruby Bridges passed an exam to determine if she could handle being in an all-white school and although other students passed the test as well, they decided to stay at their home school. At the age of 6, Ruby was the first African American student to integrate a school in Louisiana. Enduring daily harassment, slurs, and threats she walked to school each day while being escorted by federal marshals. Ruby was also the only student in her class (other parents refused to have their children taught with her) and she was taught by 1 teacher, Barbara Henry (the only teacher in the school that would teach her) for an entire school year.
How Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day Began
In May 2018, a group of fifth-graders from Martin Elementary School in South San Francisco, California, learned about Ruby and asked “Why” there was not a Ruby Bridges Day? The students asked their school board to pass a resolution making November 14 “Ruby Bridges Day.” Subsequent 5th grade classes went on to gather signatures and present proposals to the San Mateo County office of Education and later successfully advocated for their state senator to introduce a resolution at the state level to make Ruby Brides Walk to School Day and official day across the state. In September 2021, SR-59 unanimously passed making Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day an official day throughout California. Although not an official day in Oregon, we join the Martin students in honoring Ruby’s courage by celebrating Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day. Maybe we can make the date and official in Oregon too?