Comprehension Quiz: Ruby Bridges
What was Ruby’s kindergarten like?
Ruby went to an all-African American school for kindergarten. It was a long way from her home, but she walked with other students who lived on her block. Her teacher, Mrs. King, was African American and reminded Ruby of her grandmother.
What opinions did Louisiana Governor Jimmie H. Davis and Judge J. Skelly Wright have about segregating schools?
Governor Davis did not want segregation to end. He was willing to go to jail rather than allow African American children to go to white schools. The governor even threatened to close all public schools in Louisiana so they could not become integrated.
Judge Wright followed the law that said segregation in schools must end. The judge declared all of the state’s anti-integration laws unconstitutional. He set November 14, 1960, as the new deadline for all schools to be integrated.
Why did Ruby’s mother and the Federal Marshals escort Ruby to school on November 14, 1960?
They did this to keep Ruby safe. Many people in the town were angry about school integration. They wanted to stop Ruby from going to the white school. Ruby’s mother told Ruby to behave herself and follow the marshals’ directions, because she wanted to protect her daughter.
How does Ruby describe her first day at William Frantz?
Ruby describes her first day at William Frantz as easy. She thought it would be hard. All Ruby did on her first day at her new school was sit in the office with her mother and wait for the school day to end.
What was Mrs. Henry’s class like?
Ruby was the only student in her class. She thought it was strange, but she enjoyed having Mrs. Henry’s full attention. They became very close. But Ruby was not allowed to go out for lunch or recess. Her entire day was spent inside her classroom. If she had to use the bathroom, the marshals walked with her down the hall.
What was William Frantz like for Mrs. Henry?
At first, Mrs. Henry was excited to live in New Orleans and return to teaching. But her experience in teaching at William Frantz made her lonely and upset. The other teachers made comments about her or refused to speak to her. Mrs. Henry also had to be secretive about her job, because it was dangerous. Anti-integration protestors might take out their anger on her. She was not allowed to talk to Ruby’s family. She did not know whom she could trust besides her husband.
What did Mrs. Henry try to teach Ruby?
She tried to teach Ruby about integration, but she wasn’t sure if Ruby understood. She wanted Ruby to know that integration and the problems it caused were not Ruby’s fault. She also told Ruby that she was a wonderful and special person so that Ruby would feel good about herself instead of being upset that she was alone in class.
What happened at the end of the first grade?
At the end of the school year, Ruby was able to visit with a few white children who had come back to school. One little white boy refused to play with her. His mother had told him not to because Ruby was African American. Ruby was sad to leave Mrs. Henry for the summer, but she thought that Mrs. Henry would always be her teacher. Also, Ruby received very good grades from Mrs. Henry, but the principal wanted to change the grades.
What did Ruby mean when she said, “The principal couldn’t change what was in my head?”
Whether the principal lowered her grades or not, Ruby was learning. No one could take away the knowledge that Mrs. Henry gave her, even if her grades were changed.
Why did parents pull their children out of school the first year?
All the parents of Frantz Elementary pulled their children out of school the first year to protest the integration.