Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Arrest of teacher at Louisiana school board meeting gains national attention, reaction

A video on You Tube shows teacher Deyshia Hargrave expelled from a Vermilion Parish school board meeting in Louisiana.   YouTube  Screenshot by NPR A video on You Tube shows teacher Deyshia Hargrave expelled from a Vermilion Parish school board meeting in Louisiana. YouTube Screenshot by NPR
Lisa Bryan | 10 January, 2018, 02:03

A TV news camera crew captured the moment a teacher from Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, was arrested during a school board meeting Monday night, and multiple recordings of the incident have spread quickly on social media.

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".

When she voluntarily left the room, the officer jumped into action in the hallway, forcing Hargrave to the ground and handcuffing her.

The superintendent's pay raise would "basically be taking money out our pockets", she said. "We work very hard, with very little, to maintain the salaries we have".

"Sir, hold on, I am way smaller than you!" Hargrave asked the board when the towering city marshal first approached her.


"I am not, you just pushed me to the floor!"

Mr Payou's contract was extended for three years by the board during that meeting and includes incentives for performance.

It is unclear if the marshal was acting on his own accord or on the orders of board members.

Following the freaky - and violent - arrest, Vermilion Parish School Board Superintendent Jerome Puyau told the local news outlet the district won't press charges against Hargrave. The Constitution prohibits the government from punishing or retaliating against people for expressing their views, and the fact that a schoolteacher was arrested at a public meeting of the school board is especially troubling.

City prosecutor Ike Funderburk told the news station that school authorities emphasized Tuesday that they were not keen on squeezing charges. The Abbeville Marshals Office has not returned telephone calls looking for input.

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