School Climate & Safety

Educators Wonder If They’ll Go Back to New Orleans

September 13, 2005 2 min read

Hurricane Katrina has upended the lives of many educators from southeast Louisiana, including two principals from New Orleans who stopped by the East Baton Rouge district office last week to apply for jobs.

“I live about a half mile from the 17th Street canal, where they had the breach” that helped cause the flooding of the city, said Leonard M. Parker Jr., 47, who was uprooted from his job as the principal of a New Orleans elementary school. He’s applied for employment with the state department of education, and this day was trying his luck at the school district for the city where he had just rented an apartment for his family.

See Also

View an updated collection of outreach resources from state and national agencies,

Hurricane Relief: Outreach From National Organizations

Join our ongoing discussion,

Of the 80 staff members at his school, Mr. Parker said, he had heard from only 23 by Sept. 6. “I check every day,” he said.

Despite having lost practically all of his belongings, and possibly his home, Mr. Parker, an ordained minister, seemed in remarkably good spirits.

“You’ve got to have a positive frame of mind, and trust God and move on,” he said.

Sitting next to him, Monica Boudouin, a fellow New Orleans principal, said she agreed. She’s already registered her three children to attend the public schools in Baton Rouge. But while hopeful, she remained visibly upset. “I’ve cried till I can’t cry anymore,” she said, though moments later her eyes welled up.

No Place Like Home

Ms. Boudouin, 43, said that while she’s hoping to return to New Orleans eventually, a lot will depend on how things turn out for her family in the coming months.

See Also

Read the related story,

School Official Rides Out Storm

“My heart is still in New Orleans, and it will always be in New Orleans,” she said. But she said she may well decide to stay: “You don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Seated at another folding table in the East Baton Rouge district office, Dorothy J. Newell, a 55-year-old social worker in the 60,000-student New Orleans school system, was contemplating her own future as she applied for a job with the district.

Ms. Newell said her area of specialty would surely help under the circumstances.

“I know they will have a need for social workers for these kids,” she said.

She had ended up catching a ride to Dallas with just two days’ worth of clothing to escape the storm. But she came back to Baton Rouge to find a job to be as close as possible to New Orleans, where she hopes to be part of the effort to rebuild.

“I want to go home,” she said. “My name is Dorothy, and I want to be like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I want to click my heels, and I really want to go home.”

A version of this article appeared in the September 14, 2005 edition of Education Week as Educators Wonder If They’ll Go Back To New Orleans

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Proms During COVID-19: 'Un-Proms', 'Non-Proms', and Masquerades
High school proms are back in this second spring of COVID-19, though they may not look much like the traditional, pre-pandemic versions.
7 min read
Affton Missouri UnProm
Affton High School students attend a drive-in theater "un-prom" in Missouri on April 18.
Photo Courtesy of Deann Myers
School Climate & Safety Opinion 5 Things to Expect When Schools Return to In-Person Learning
Many schools are just coming back to in-person learning. There are five issues all school communities should anticipate when that happens.
Matt Fleming
5 min read
shutterstock 1051475696
Shutterstock
School Climate & Safety What the Research Says 'High-Surveillance' Schools Lead to More Suspensions, Lower Achievement
Cameras, drug sweeps, and other surveillance increase exclusionary discipline, regardless of actual student misbehavior, new research finds.
5 min read
New research suggests such surveillance systems may increase discipline disparities.
Motortion/iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety From Our Research Center Rising Numbers of Educators Say Pandemic Is Now Blown Out of Proportion, Survey Shows
An EdWeek Research Center survey shows that nearly 3 of every 10 educators believe the pandemic is no longer a real threat to schools.
4 min read
A sign that reads "SOCIAL DISTANCE MAINTAIN 6 FT" was posted on a student locker at a school in Baldwin, N.Y., at the beginning of the school year. But a new survey shows educators' concerns about the pandemic are declining.
A sign that reads "SOCIAL DISTANCE MAINTAIN 6 FT" was posted on a student locker at a school in Baldwin, N.Y., at the beginning of the school year. But a new survey shows educators' concerns about the pandemic are declining.<br/>
Mark Lennihan/AP