WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Louisiana grade school teacher Deyshia Hargrave was arrested during a Vermilion Parish school board meeting on Monday.
- Her crime: speaking up at the meeting, criticizing the school district superintendent who was scheduled to get a 27% pay raise while teachers including herself are struggling.
- The teacher was escorted out, handcuffed by a marshal and then booked into the Abbeville, Louisiana jail.
Deyshia Hargrave was appalled at how she was treated following her arrest Monday during a school board meeting. She voiced her objection to a raise the school superintendent will be getting.
“You’re making our job even more difficult,” she told the school board. “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 to all the teachers, cafeteria workers, and any other support staff we have.”
She was called on twice during the public session but as the teacher went on with her concerns, she was escorted out by a city marshal hired by the school district who handcuffed her in a hallway.
A video from CNN affiliate KATC shows Hargrave screaming at the marshal.
“Stop resisting,” he says.
“I am not! You just pushed me to the floor! I am way smaller than you!” She yelled while being forcibly taken out of the building.
She was booked into the Abbeville, Louisiana jail but released soon after posting bail, the police said.
KATC reported that it’s still unclear if the marshal acted on his own or ordered by a board member.
“What happened here tonight — the way that females are treated in Vermilion Parish … I have never seen a man removed from this room,” school board member Laura LeBeouf said.
Abbeville’s prosecutor Ike Funderburk told KATC he won’t be prosecuting Hargrave.
“I have reviewed the video and I am not going to approve any charges against the teacher,” city attorney Funderburk said. “I talked with the attorney for the school board, and they do not wish to pursue any charges against the teacher.”
KATC also reported that Superintendent Jerome Puyau’s salary raise from $110,190 to $140,188 was approved by the school board.
Debbie Meaux, the president of the Louisiana Association of Educators denounced the way Hargrave was treated at the meeting.
“As an organization that advocates for the dedicated school employees of Louisiana, we firmly denounce the mistreatment of Ms. Hargrave, a loving parent and dedicated teacher serving the students of Vermilion Parish,” Meaux said in a statement.
Brian Blackwell, attorney for the Louisiana Association of Educators said, “In 30 years I’ve never seen anything like this. It has certainly caused an outrage locally, nationally and internationally from comments I’ve been seeing.”
Blackwell told CNN that Deyshia Hargrave believes her right to free speech was violated and now considering legal action.