During a school board meeting, Deyshia Hargrave, an English language arts teacher, discussed the issue of teacher salaries and questioned a raise that was included in the contract for the superintendent, Jermone Puyau. The meeting was called to vote on whether the contract should be approved, but Hargrave was told her questions were not related to the agenda.
“I have a serious issue with a superintendent or any person in a position of leadership getting any type of raise,” said Hargrave, a teacher at Rene A. Rost Middle School in Kaplan, Louisiana, during the Vermillion Parish School Boarding meeting. “I feel like it’s a slap in the face for the teachers, the cafeteria workers or any other support staff we have.”
According to a report by NBC News, Hargrave raised her hand later during the meeting, again bringing up the issue of teacher salaries and the raises included in the superintendent’s three-year contract.
Quickly, a member of the school board interrupted Hargrave, stating that her statements were not related to the meeting’s agenda, though several in the crowd disagreed, saying, “Yes, it is,” in a show of support.
The board member asserted that the superintendent’s contract was the focus on the meeting, leading audience members to reply, “with a raise.”
Hargrave continued to ask questions, though was soon approached by a city marshal who is employed by the school district.
The marshal says, “You need to leave, or I’m going to remove you.”
Hargrave left voluntarily, though soon can be heard shouting in the hallway. The video shows that the teacher had been forced to the ground and being handcuffed by the marshal.
The marshal tells Hargrave to “stop resisting,” and then escorts her from the premises.
Once outside of the building, the marshal informs Hargrave that she is under arrest for refusing to leave and resisting arrest.
After the incident, Hargrave was booked into the Abbeville City Jail, though has since been released on bond.
During an interview, Puyau said that his door “is always open” to those who wish to discuss their concerns, adding, “There’s a time and a place for everything, but there’s rules and protocols.
Board President Anthony Fontana stated that he “absolutely” stood by the marshal’s decision, saying, “[The marshal’s] job is to make sure that we have orderly board meetings. He knows what our policy is and he knows how o handle it.” He added that Hargrave would not have been arrested if she had not committed a crime, though admits he did not witness what transpired outside of the meeting room.