Show Less
Restricted access

William Frantz Public School

A Story of Race, Resistance, Resiliency, and Recovery in New Orleans


Connie L. Schaffer, Meg White and Martha Graham Viator

Why should you care about what happened to William Frantz Public School? Yes, Ruby Bridges entered the iconic doors of William Frantz in 1960, but the building’s unique role in New Orleans school desegregation is only one part of the important history of this school. Many additional and equally important stories have unfolded within its walls and the neighborhoods surrounding it. These stories matter.

It matters that society has historically marginalized Black students and continues to do so. It matters that attempts to dismantle systemic racism in schools and other institutions still face strong resistance, and these issues continue to deeply divide the United States. It matters that the building remains standing as an indomitable symbol of the resiliency of public education despite decades of waning support, misguided accountability, and a city devasted by Hurricane Katrina. It matters that opportunism, under the guise of recovery, reshaped public education in New Orleans.

William Frantz Public School: A Story of Race, Resistance, Resiliency, and Recovery in New Orleans provides more than an examination of education in one school and one city. It recounts a story that matters to anyone who cares about public education.

Connie L. Schaffer graduated summa cum laude with a BS from Kansas State University. She earned her MS and EdD from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). She taught middle and high school and is now a faculty member in the UNO College of Education.

Meg White has been an educator for over 30 years. She earned a BA from Marymount University, an MA from San Jose State University and an EdD from Northcentral University. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Education at Stockton University.

Martha Graham Viator earned a BA in history from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and an MA and PhD in history from Auburn University. Recently retired from Rowan University, she taught in the College of Education after teaching high school history in public schools.​