Video showed Deyshia Hargrave being handcuffed and escorted out of a meeting where she said the superintendent’s pay raise was a “slap in the face to all the teachers.”
A middle school teacher was handcuffed after she questioned the superintendent’s pay raise during a school board meeting in Louisiana on Monday night.
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Deyshia Hargrave, an English and language arts teacher at Rene A. Rost Middle School in Abbeville, addressed the school board while they were considering a vote to approve Superintendent Jerome Puyau's contract with a $38,000 pay raise, WGNO reported.
“I have a serious issue with a superintendent or any person in a position of leadership getting any type of raise,” Hargrave told the board. “I feel like it’s a slap in the face of all the teachers, cafeteria workers, and any other support staff. We work very hard with very little to maintain the salaries that we have.”
Noting that class sizes had grown, Hargrave told the Vermillion Parish School Board that it was “unspeakable” and “absurd” that the superintendent was getting a raise “when teachers are working this hard, and not even getting a dime.”
She said that it was unfair that he was being given a performance-based raise when it was the teachers and students who were “doing the work” to meet those goals.
“It's a sad, sad day to be a teacher in Vermillion Parish,” Hargrave said.
Her comments prompted board president Anthony Fontana to rule Hargrave out of order during the meeting, KATC reported.
After the board voted to approve Puyau’s contract with the raise, Hargrave once again expressed her frustrations, but was stopped by an Abbeville city marshal officer who told her, “You’re going to leave or I’m going to remove you.”
After the vote, Hargrave — who was permitted to speak by the board — told them, “How are you taking the raise when you are basically taking from the teachers and the employees under you?”
As people in the audience agreed with Hargrave, Fontana banged his gavel multiple times and ordered Hargrave to stop talking because the raise “wasn't on the agenda” — promoting several others in the meeting to disagree.
As Puyau began to to directly address Hargrave, the city marshal officer asked her to leave.
In a video, uploaded by KATC, the city marshal officer appeared to push Hargrave on the ground and handcuff her outside the room after she left the meeting.
The video showed Hargrave struggling with the officer and screaming, “What are you doing?” He told her to “stop resisting,” to which she replied, “I am not, you just pushed me to the floor.”
It is unclear if the security officer was ordered to arrest Hargrave and remove her from the meeting.
The superintendent said that the board would not press charges against Hargrave, but records showed that she was booked in jail, KATC reported.
Hargrave, her school, Puyau, Fontana, and the city marshal's office did not respond to BuzzFeed News's request for comment.
Here’s a video showing Hargrave’s interaction with the school board and her subsequent arrest.