In honor of Black History Month, the Dallas school district took about 5,700 students to see the War World II film Red Tails about the Tuskegee Airmen, but there was one problem: they left half of the students behind.

Apparently, district officials decided to treat all of the fifth grade boys to a field trip to see the inspirational film, but left all of the female students behind.

A teacher with the Dallas schools told the Dallas News blog that the trip only included boys because school officials felt “the boys would be interested in because it was about African-American men.”

But girls wouldn’t? Hmph.

In an email to the Dallas News Blog, district spokesman Jon Dahlander tried to explain the reasoning behind the boys-only field trip.

“Approximately 5,000 fifth grade boys in the district are watching Red Tails,” he wrote in the email. “The film is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots whose acts of bravery during World War II earned them the President Unit Citation in honor of their achievements.

“There is only so much available space at the movie theater, so the decision was made for boys to attend the movie.”

While I’m sure the district could have worked out a schedule that would have allowed every fifth grade student to see the film, they didn’t even seem to consider it.

So what were the fifth grade girls doing while the boys were away enjoying the field trip? They stayed behind at school and watched the film “Akeelah and the Bee,” a film about a black middle school girl who wins the most prestigious spelling bee in the nation.

While I can appreciate the district’s willingness to inspire their male students, leaving out during a month geared toward celebrating equality seems just plain wrong.

What do you think? Was it unfair to not allow the girls to also see ‘Red Tails’? 


*Photo via the Dallas News

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  • Tricia

    Actually I see nothing wrong with this as it is girls, women are more successful that the black boys/men, so let them see positive role models. This is a non-issue

  • Unfair

    I don’t think that it’s fair. the girls could have benifited from the movie just as much as the boys, and why would the girls dislike the movie? Just because it doesn’t really have any women in it, doesn’t mean we wont like it! I think that there should have been an option. Those who wanted to see Red Tails could, and the rest could watch the movie at the school. That way, each student could see what interests them. Or, they choose half the students to go see Red Tails because there was “limited space”, and then the other half could watch it another time.
    I believe that it’s unfair to leave the girls behind, espically when there is such a good history lesson to learn!

  • ruggie

    Look at the messages of the 2 films.

    To the boys (Red Tails) – if a person dreams big this is what they can achieve. Of course, the education we give you does not allow you to achieve that particular dream. Racism is in-your face-blatant and you can overcome it by being “good enough”. Black women don’t exist in that world, not as equals, or even love interests, even though they make up 80 percent of your daily environment. This is an alternate universe set in another time. We’ll invest in you leaving your school environment to see others who left their environment. Somehow, in some vague way, you can be like them.

    To the girls (Akeelah and the Bee) – Dram big but in smaller, more achievable ways. Do your homework, win a spelling bee. This can be done with our resources and within your environment. The character’s reality is similar to yours. You can do this.

    And then we offer girls the chance to be well behaved students, hall monitors, spelling bee champs, and wonder why the boys aren’t going from saggy jeans to piot’s planes. We bet big on the boys without giving them the support to win big, while we give tasks to the girls and offer them rewards for achieving those tasks. This type of approach stifles boys in the long run, while molding girls into under-valued achievers.

    • ruggie


    • MIkela123

      Wow ruggie. You really broke it down. Beautiful post. Time for this site to have a LIKE button for posts…