Louisiana ACLU speaks out on arrest at School Board meeting

A teacher in Louisiana was removed Monday night from a school board meeting after a confrontation regarding teacher's pay.

Deyshia Hargrave, a middle school teacher in the Vermilion Parish school system, was videotaped being escorted out of a room and then wrestled into handcuffs by a city marshal on January 8. Board President Anthony Fontana ruled that she was out of order and warned her that she could not ask questions during that portion of the meeting. The disturbing incident took place after Hargrave asked school board members to justify the massive raise while teachers and school employees had reportedly gone without a pay hike in years.

Hargrave continues to ask her question when a city marshal approaches her and tells her she needs to leave.

"I am not, you just pushed me to the floor", Hargrave responds.

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Hargrave grabs her purse and leaves as some protest that Superintendent Jerome Puyau had been addressing the teacher even as she she was being forced to leave. She was, however, charged with "remaining after being forbidden" and "resisting an officer", both of which can be brought by a marshal, and do not require the school board's cooperation. She was later released on bond.

Local reports say Fontana was unfamiliar with the board and its members before the nomination, but his selection was made by Fontana in an effort to split a deadlock vote on approving the raise for Puyau.

"I have a serious issue with a superintendent or any person in a position of leadership getting any type of raise", she said. The Abbeville Marshals Office have not returned phone calls seeking comment. The way that females are treated in Vermilion Parish, I have never seen a man removed from this room. Ms Hargrave did not appear to be raising her voice during the meeting. According to news site Education Week, "a survey of more than 1,800 public and private school teachers conducted in the 2015-16 school year" showed that the average American educator had to spend $600 of their own money in order to provide adequate school supplies for their students.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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