Kyle Barnett Mar. 12, 2015, 3:46pm


GRETNA – The Jefferson Parish School Board is being sued by a veteran teacher who claims he was discriminated against for helping an organization he founded file a civil rights complaint agaisnt Louisiana’s Recovery School District over the treatment of African-American students.

Frank Buckley filed suit against The Jefferson Parish School Board in the 24th Judicial District Court on Jan. 15.

Buckley, who has 20 years experience as a teacher, contends he was employed by The Jefferson Parish School Board as a teacher at Josette M. Roosevelt Middle School in Kenner during the 2014-2015 school year and that during that period of time he was involved in the community “speaking out and protesting for equality and justice for African-American students.” The plaintiff also asserts he was the co-founder of Conscious Concerned Citizens Controlling Community Changes, a community group that filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Louisiana’s Recovery School District in Orleans Parish for discrimination.

Buckley claims that after becoming involved in civil actions involving the poor education environment for African-American students he was publicly ridiculed and allegedly defamed by Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White who characterized the civil complaint as a “joke.”

Shortly afterward the plaintiff alleges he began to suffer harassment from his employer. The plaintiff contends that on Aug. 28, 2014 John Olson, the principal of Josette M. Roosevelt Middle School, came into his classroom and told him homework he was providing to his students was too easy and on the following day he appeared with a Kenner Police officer and a K-9 unit and announced to the classroom that Buckley’s desk was going to be searched for drugs. Additionally, Buckley contends that Olson followed him to his car after school one day and asked him about his relationship with White.

On Sept. 5, 2014 Buckley claims he filed a formal grievance against Olson and on Oct. 3, 2014, filed a formal complaint with the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights claiming he had been discriminated against because of his race and gender as well as his involvement in filing the civil rights complaint concerning inequality for minority students.

The defendant is accused of defamation of character, illegal drug search, violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and creating a hostile work environment.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought under state and federal law.

Buckley is represented by attorney Willie M. Zanders of New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge June Berry Darensburg.

Case no. 745-937.

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