10 January, 2018
A Louisiana middle school teacher was removed from a Vermillion Parish school board meeting in handcuffs Monday evening after she questioned why the school district superintendent was receiving a $38,000 raise when rank-and-file teachers and support staff haven't gotten a pay raise in years.
During the public portion comment of the Vermilion Parish School Board's meeting, English teacher Deyshia Hargrave spoke up.
Board president Anthony Fontana ruled Hargrave "out of order" after she posed several questions - and it was not a question-and-answer period. Hargrave was then called on a second time to speak and asked the board another question, KATC reports. Hargrave voluntarily left the meeting, but as she stepped out into the hallway, the marshal allegedly pushed her and then placed her in handcuffs.
"I'm not - you just pushed me to the floor", Hargrave responds as the unnamed officer begins to push her towards the exit.
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.
"She got away from what I believe was the germane issue", he said. "We work very hard with very little to maintain the salaries that we have".
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After the board approved the raise, Hargrave was again recognized by the board and voiced her frustrations. 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.
"How are you taking the raise when you're basically taking from teachers and employees under you?" she asked. Shortly after, Hargrave was removed from the building in handcuffs.
"What are you doing?" she is heard exclaiming in the video, as she was led away to a cruiser outside.
Hargrave asked the board when the towering city marshal first approached her.
Requests for comment from Hargrave and Puyau were not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.