In a recent article, civil rights complaints were filed by the Journey for Justice Alliance and Advancement Project. The complaint centers on the school district enrollment policies for students. The New Orleans School District will need to prepare the predominately White schools to respond to the civil rights complaint by preparing for an influx of Black students.

According to the article, the allegations in New Orleans include poorly performing schools with higher percentages of black students are more likely to be closed than schools with higher white enrollment; and, while all public schools in New Orleans are open to enrollment for students from throughout the city, white students are disproportionately enrolled at higher performing schools.

In the article, Patrick Dobard who is the head of the state agency that runs most schools ion New Orleans has admitted to the alleged racial segregation. Dobard stated, “that some of the higher performing schools still under control of the local school board are not yet part of a city-wide, simplified enrollment system allowing parents to fill out a single application listing the schools they would most like their children to attend. Getting all schools into that system will help boost minority enrollment at the higher performing schools.” Dobard said.

What problems will Black students encounter as a result of the civil rights complaint that will end school segregation in New Orleans?

Teacher Discrimination

Teachers discriminate against students by stereotyping according to ethnicity. Teachers are more likely to have negative academic and behavioral expectations regarding Black students compared to expectations of White students. White teachers have more negative attitudes toward Black children and rate Black students more negatively compared to White students. White teachers rate Black male children more deviant compared to White children. White teachers direct more criticism toward Black males and rate Black male children personalities more negatively when compared to White male children. White teachers perceive White students more positively compared to Black students. High prejudiced White teachers are less pleased with Black students when compared to low prejudiced White teachers. White teachers show a heightened hostility toward brighter Black children. White teachers interact with White gifted and non-gifted students more than with gifted and non-gifted Black students.

European American teachers favor other students rather than Black students. European Americans have favorable attitudes toward Mexican Americans compared to Blacks and are more likely to accept Mexican Americans compared to Blacks due to Mexican Americans having a closer skin color to European Americans.

Black students who are seen as fun-loving, happy, cooperative, energetic, and ambitious by Black teachers are viewed by European-American teachers as talkative, lazy, fun-loving, high-strung, and frivolous by their European-American teachers.

Teachers tend to form negative, inaccurate, and inflexible expectations based on such attributes as the race and perceived social class of their pupils. White teachers may have difficulty in understanding minorities due to the teachers’ rejection of the students’ lifestyles. Schools have a bias against students who do not share the same characteristics as White, female, middle-class teachers.

Why would schools take a chance on the embarrassment associated with a civil rights complaint?

The Dysfunctional Organization

Dysfunctional organizations exhibit several characteristics that are detrimental to its existence. There are five different levels that contribute to a dysfunctional organization. The dysfunctional organization begins with each person’s use of defense mechanisms for coping. Defense mechanisms are the unwritten rules an individual learns and utilizes to effectively deal with circumstances that are upsetting, embarrassing, or threatening.

The second level is skilled incompetence, which is the outcome of the defense mechanisms we have internalized. When the defensive behaviors we’ve learned are transformed into a learned behavior, that behavior becomes a skill – albeit an incompetent skill – that we consider necessary in order to deal with issues that are embarrassing, threatening, or upsetting. A skill that is learned from the regular application of a defense mechanism has a high degree of incompetence embedded within it, because we are unaware of how this skill will impact our future.

Skilled incompetence transforms into a defensive routine. Defensive routines are the third level. When the skilled incompetence is automatically exhibited at all times, the behavior is now a defensive routine.

Defensive routines lead to fancy footwork. Fancy footwork is the fourth level. Fancy footwork happens when individuals try to deny the behavioral inconsistencies they exhibit, or else they place blame on other people, which results in distancing themselves from taking responsibility for their behavioral inconsistencies.

Fancy footwork leads to organizational malaise. Organizational malaise is the final level. During this phase the individuals in the organization will seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The individual continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility.

The New Orleans School District should respond to the civil rights complaint by utilizing the Raccelerate Racism Formula, desegregating all schools, and promoting positive racial teacher student classroom relationships (Properateasclaships).

Related Articles

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Asian American organizations file federal civil rights complaint against Harvard


Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012


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