Louisiana Teacher Handcuffed at School Board Meeting After She Questions Administrator Pay Raise

Louisiana teacher Deyshia Hargrave / YouTube
January 10, 2018

An English language-arts teacher in Louisiana's Vermilion Parish School District was removed from a school board meeting and handcuffed Monday night after asking questions about administrator pay, video of the event shows.

Deyshia Hargrave asked why board members were planning to give the superintendent a raise when teachers had not been rewarded a pay raise in years, the Washington Post reported.

Her comments about the raise were ruled out of order by Fontana, who said Hargrave could not ask questions and expect answers during the public comment period. While some in the audience took issue with that, she sat down and the meeting went forward.

Hargrave was called upon a second time for comment. Again, she asked board members how they could raise the salary of the superintendent when teachers and students did the work in the classroom, again noting that educators were not getting pay increases.

"Excuse me, is it against policy to stand? Sir, do not," Hargrave said as a security officer from marshal’s office in Abbeville, La motioned to escort her out.

The video does not show what happened immediately after the two got into the hallway, but she can be seen and heard screaming on the floor, being handcuffed.

Hargrave was booked into the city jail on charges that included resisting an officer. She paid bond and is currently back in school teaching.

School Board President Anthony Fontana said the security officer "was just doing his job." He said Hargrave had violated rules of the meeting and was arrested because she started a skirmish with the officer in the hallway. Fontana said he had left his seat and gone to the door after the teacher was led out of the meeting. It was then he said he saw the start of the skirmish, which was not shown in the videos.

Other members of the board and Superintendent Jerome Puyau had not responded to queries from the Post about the arrest at the time of publication.

Puyau did tell local media that the school district was not going to press charges against Hargrave and that he told police the same thing, but she was booked anyway.

The meeting and arrest were videotaped by a crew from local ABC affiliate KATC-TV, as well as by a meeting attendee.

Watch video of the meeting:

Published under: Education , Louisiana