The Dallas Independent School District spent $57,000 to send students on a field trip, which sounds like a lot, but given that 5700 kids went on it, it isn’t that bad, and is a fairly routine expenditure. So the story is OK so far.
They went to see a movie, Red Tails, as part of Black History Month. Now it’s getting a little sketchy: that’s a commercial, Hollywood piece of entertainment, and a new release. But OK, I’d let it slide as an opportunity to couple history with an entertaining story. (If it had been for English and a chance to learn about the language from George Lucas’s dialog, though, there would be hell to pay.)
Here’s where it goes really, really wrong: only boys were allowed to go on the trip, and girls had to stay behind under the supervision of substitute teachers.
Their excuse: “it was something the boys would be interested in because it was about African-American men” and:
“There is only so much available space at the movie theater, so the decision was made for boys to attend the movie. Girls stayed at school but principals were given the option to show them ‘Akeelah and the Bee.’”
The girls’ movie is an uplifting story about a girl going to a spelling bee. The boys’ movie is a big-budget sfx-fest with explosions and airplanes. The girls’ movie was an inexpensive afterthought shown in their classrooms. The boys’ movie involved an expensive field trip.
Oh, yeah, that sounds like an equal opportunity for both.