Boys Get To Go On Expensive Field Trip; Girls Stay At School

13 02 2012

by Judy Molland

February 11, 2012 8:00 pm (

What on earth were they thinking?

The Dallas Independent School District took about 5,700 fifth-grade boys on February 9 to see a new movie about African-American fighter pilots in World War II, but female students were excluded.

Busloads of Dallas school children began arriving at the AMC Mesquite 30 theater around 10 a.m Thursday morning to watch “Red Tails” about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of black American male pilots who flew missions in World War II. But girls were kept from seeing the movie.

A teacher at the theater this morning told Dallas Morning News photographer G.J. McCarthy that the movie was part of Black History Month instruction, and she was told it was something the boys would be interested in because it was about African-American men.


Dallas ISD spokesman Jon Dahlander earlier today told me that the boys-only field trip to see Red Tails cost $32,000.

This afternoon, Dahlander clarified. The $32,000 only covers the cost of movie tickets for the 5,000 students. The district spent another roughly $25,000 on the buses to take the fifth graders to the AMC 30 Mesquite.

Schools also had to hire substitute teachers for the girls who stayed behind in the classrooms. Dahlander said he didn’t know how much that cost.

Dahlander said interim Superintendent Alan King and interim chief of schools Shirley Ison-Newsome approved showing the movie.

Why only boys? Dahlander said: “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 Dallas district, which is governed by a board of trustees and operated on a daily basis by an interim superintendent, has made no apologies for the disparate treatment of students. The rationale, they told the Dallas Morning News, was that they thought boys would enjoy the combat movie more than the girls.

(Full Story)




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