Sequoia Pathway Academy Elementary School students went on a walk Tuesday morning to remember Ruby Bridges’ walk to school in 1960. It was one that helped change the course of history and Black Civil Rights.
About 100 students walked to Pacana Park and back to the charter school on North Porter Road to honor Bridges. She was the first Black child to attend a formerly White-only school in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis.
Linette Caroselli, assistant principal of Sequoia Pathway secondary school, organized the event.
“We are prideful of having cultural empathy and understanding each and every culture of our students,” Caroselli said. “Today marked the anniversary of Ruby Bridges walk to school to integrate schools in the United States.”
Caroselli said it was important for students to live this piece of history, which teaches how “precious” education can be.
“There are students around the world who do not get that opportunity, so it’s important for them to grasp that concept of how important their education is and what it can do for them,” Caroselli said.
Caroselli learned about the annual Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day from her former sorority sister, who informed her about the Ruby Bridges Foundation and its coordinated the walk across the country in conjunction with AAA.
“I wanted our school to participate this year,” Caroselli said.
Bridges was 6 years old at the time and escorted by federal marshals on her walk to William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana.
Some White parents pulled their children from the school and only one teacher agreed to teach Bridges alone. Many of the parents later returned their children to the school.
Sequoia Pathway students have been learning about the integration of schools in America and Bridges’ experience.
The Ruby Bridges Foundation donated pennants and bracelets to Sequoia Pathway’s walk. Students waved the pennants and chanted Ruby Bridges name during the event.
Bridges, 69, is today an activist and philanthropist.