Research Compiled by: Shayla S., LaShaye BC, and Moises D.
The hiring of African American teachers continued to be a rare occurrence over the next 50 years. In the 1960s, Omaha’s school district reached a turning point, and the hiring of African American teachers started to become more fair and frequent, although, improvements in hiring practices can still be made today.
There have been many African American teachers in Omaha schools that have made a significant impact on the community. One of these educators who paved the way for future African American educators was Dr. Eugene Skinner. Dr. Skinner was first hired as a full time teacher in the Omaha school district in 1940. He was the first African American: named principal of an Omaha school in 1947; named principal of an Omaha Jr. High school in 1965; administrator in the Omaha school district in 1968; and assistant superintendent in 1969.
While laws did not mandate segregated education in the North as they had in the South, housing patterns and numerous decisions by policy-makers nonetheless resulted in the de facto segregation of Omaha schools.
On January 1 1976, the OPS Board of Education presented a plan to the Federal District Court for student desegregation to that was scheduled to begin in the fall of the 1976 school year. Prior to making this court-ordered presentation, members of the Omaha community were given an opportunity to express their views through several town meetings. Suggestions had been received and studied by the Board and the school-appointed Integration task force. In an attempt to answer the many questions that were posed, pamphlets and material such as “The Plan” (pictured left) and other brochures were made available to explain the major change in educational policy. Formulated in response to a report from the Omaha Community Committee, "The Plan" specified how the OPS could begin to take steps to integrate its public schools.
Omaha Public Schools
3215 Cuming Street
Omaha, NE 68131
Douglas County Historical Society
What I learned about the education project is how segregation was a big problem and how Omaha public schools treated teachers by the way they looked.