Teacher arrested, handcuffed after speaking up at school board meeting

Pauline Gross
January 10, 2018

A Louisiana teacher was handcuffed and briefly jailed after asking about teacher pay during a school board meeting.

Footage from the Vermillion Parish School Board meeting, which has since gone viral, shows Deyshia Hargrave violently being pushed to the floor after following a city officer's orders to leave the meeting.

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.

In latest developments, the superintendent of Vermilion Parish schools said they won't press charges against Hargrave, despite her since being booked with 'remaining after being forbidden and resisting an officer.' .

'We work very hard with very little to maintain the salaries we have.

Ms Hargrave told the board: "you're making our job more difficult" by not addressing valid pay concerns.

The Abbeville town marshal's office, which made the arrest, the superintendent's office and the school board president all declined further comment on the incident.

Following Hargrave's removal and subsequent overnight booking into jail (fascist America has truly arrived) the Louisiana Association of Educators who is representing the teacher denouncing the way Hargrave was treated.

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After the vote, Hargrave - who was permitted to speak by the board - told them, "How are you taking the raise when you are basically taking from the teachers and the employees under you?"

She started to walk sideways through the assembly to leave, as some protested, noting that Mr. Puyau had started to directly address Ms. Hargrave just as the marshal tried to eject her. The cooperation of the school system would not be required to arrest her on either of those charges; the officer could arrest her on his complaint.

"Stop resisting", the officer warns Hargrave as he handcuffs her. After posing another question, an Abbeville city marshal on duty at the meeting escorted Hargrave out of the meeting. A 4-4 deadlock became 5-3 in favor of the new contract as the appointed member voted in favor of the renewal, she said.

'She wasn't talking to you, ' an audience member says. The Abbeville Police Department did not arrest the teacher.

In an interview Tuesday, Vermilion Parish School Board President Anthony Fontana stated that he supports the deputy marshal's decision to remove the teacher from last night's school board meeting. Any action that infringes upon this right is unlawful and unacceptable.

Requests for comment from Hargrave and Puyau were not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

At the meeting, the board approved a new three-year contract for the superintendent that includes a $38,000 raise based on performance.

It's unclear if the deputy marshal was acting on his own accord-of if he was called on to have Hargrave removed.

Other reports by GizPress

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