Thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina are finally getting their day in court. Virtually all of New Orleans' teachers and school employees were summarily fired after the storm, leaving the way open for the state seizure of schools and the wholesale chartering of public education.
But was the firing of those educators legal? That will be determined in a trial that begins today, according to this article by Times-Picayune reporter John Simeran. The trial could last a month.
The lead attorney in the case, Willie Zanders. Sr., will argue that the terminations violated state law because there was no due process afforded the nearly 7,000 teachers and school employees.
Zanders is asking or lost wages and benefits as well as damages for emotional distress. Defendants include the State of Louisiana, the State Department of Education, the Orleans Parish School Board and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.