Redwood City, CA — The San Mateo County Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools approved the adoption of Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day in San Mateo County, to be honored annually on November 14 at the request of students from Deborah Carlino’s fifth-grade class at South San Francisco Unified School District’s (SSFUSD) Martin Elementary School.
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 to school 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.
Mrs. Carlino’s students learned about American activist Ruby Bridges during the 2017-18 school year as part of their class curriculum, 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 across the district. The students hope to make Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day a statewide event.
Mrs. Carlino’s class will create the first Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day poster, which will be distributed by SMCOE to schools throughout the county. The County Board of Education and Superintendent encourage all schools in the county to participate. Martin Elementary School is working on contacting Ruby to let her know how her bravery has activated the students. Their dream is a visit from Ruby on the first Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day.
“We are all moved by the Martin Elementary students’ work on Ruby Bridge’s Walk to School Day. Transferring what they learned in the classroom into action in the community is exactly what we hope to encourage through the County Office’s civics initiative,” said County Superintendent of Schools Anne E. Campbell.
Learn more about Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day in San Mateo County on the SMCOE website.
The San Mateo County Office of Education is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in teachers, invigorating leaders, and involving communities.