Euzhan Palcy, the director of the 1998 Disney film Ruby Bridges, is speaking out after Florida teachers moved to reinstate the film back into school curriculum.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Palcy praised teachers for “standing up for truth” after a parent’s complaint led to her film being temporarily pulled from the Black History Month curriculum at North Shore Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Truth will out!” Palcy said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “I commend the seven Florida teachers for standing up for truth by unanimously clearing Ruby Bridges for screening in the public schools.”
“This is a victory for hope as portrayed in my film by the courage of children to turn their backs on bigotry, hatred, and racism,” Palcy continued. “The teachers’ action sticks a thorn in the bubble of ignorance in which the enlightened parents wish to surrounded their children. Guess what will happen to those children when that bubble bursts?”
A parent at North Shore Elementary previously complained that Ruby Bridges, which depicts the life of a six-year-old who became the first Black student to integrate into her elementary school in New Orleans, may teach students that “white people hate black people.” The film was screened to second-grade students who had signed permission slips from their parents.
Following the parent’s complaint, the film was banned upon further review. An eight-person committee consisting of “teachers, parents, community members, and a library media technology specialist” voted unanimously to reverse the ban, according to a statement from the school district.