Students at Martin Elementary School Spearhead Annual Day in Honor of Ruby Bridges November 14th

South San Francisco, CA   October 23, 2018 Submitted by Ryan Sebers, SSFUSD

At the request of students from Martin Elementary School, the San Mateo County Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools adopted a resolution creating Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day in San Mateo County, to be honored annually on November 14.

At a Glance

Ruby Bridges became a symbol of the civil rights movement at age six when she was the youngest of a group of African American students designated to integrate schools in the American South. On November 14, 1960, her first day of school at William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Ruby was escorted by four federal marshals, and spent the entire day in the principal’s office as irate parents marched into the school to remove their children.

History

Ruby Bridges is an American activist who walked to school nearly every day and became a symbol of the civil rights movement at age six when she was the youngest of a group of African American students designated to integrate schools in the American South. On November 14, 1960, her first day of school, she was escorted by four federal marshals, and spent the entire day in the Principal’s office as irate parents marched into the school to remove their children.

Today, Ruby Bridges stands for equality and desegregation. She is currently the chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote “the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences.”

The idea to celebrate Ruby’s courage came from Deborah Carlino’s fifth-grade class last year at South San Francisco Unified’s (SSFUSD) Martin Elementary School, whose students learned about Ruby in class and came up with an idea to adopt a “Ruby Bridges Day” to honor Ruby’s role in the civil rights movement. The students gathered over 1,000 signatures from students, parents, and community members, and presented their proposal last school year to SSFUSD’s Board of Trustees, who in turn passed a resolution approving November 14 as Ruby Bridges Day.

Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day in San Mateo County

Districts and schools in San Mateo County are encouraged to recognize Ruby’s impact by adopting “Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day” on November 14, or on the second Tuesday of each November when November 14 falls on a weekend. Below are a number of resources to support districts and the community in taking part in this initiative.

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