Teacher removed from school board meeting in handcuffs

Posted January 10, 2018

A chaotic scene broke out at a Louisiana school board meeting after a teacher was arrested, apparently for questioning why the board's superintendent was being given a $38,000 pay raise.

During a public comment period of a school board meeting, middle school language arts teacher Deyshia Hargrave was recognized, and explained, "For a superintendent or any person in a position of leadership getting any type of raise, I feel like it's a slap in the face for teachers, cafeteria workers and any other support staff we have".

Despite reports from KATC that Puyau told media that the school board would not file charges against Hargrave, the teacher was booked on charges of remaining while forbidden and resisting an officer.

With the board seemingly uninterested in answering the educator's concerns, an Abbeville city marshal then charged into view, confronted the woman, and demanded she leave the crowded meeting. She has since bonded out.

The superintendent's pay raise would "basically be taking money out our pockets", she said.

"Stop resisting", the officer warns Hargrave as he handcuffs her.

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Teacher Deyshia Hargrave spoke up during public comment and said, "You're making our jobs more hard".

Hargrave, her school, Puyau, Fontana, and the city marshal's office did not respond to BuzzFeed News's request for comment.

Fontana, who voted in favor of the final contract, said the board employs a city marshal to provide security during meetings.

"What happened here tonight - the way that females are treated in Vermilion Parish - I have never seen a man removed from this room", she said as people in attendance called the incident "terrible". Ms Hargrave did not appear to be raising her voice during the meeting.

The National Education Association reported that Louisiana saw the largest decrease in average public school teacher salary between 2014 and 2015, with the average salary for the 2015-2016 school year coming out to approximately $47,000.

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.

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