Deborah Carey returned from Dallas the summer after Hurricane Katrina excited to start junior year at her old school, Frederick A. Douglass High, where she had participated in a creative writing program and an activist group. She assumed "that the same teachers would be there, that I could plug back in."
In fact, almost everything was different. Most of the teachers were gone, replaced by faculty from other schools or newcomers to the profession. The band lay dormant for lack of instruments. Books were in boxes. "I remember having cold sandwiches for a very long time," she said. Students weren't even in the Douglass building at first; they attended school in shifts at Joseph S. Clark High.