Teacher Arrested at Meeting on Superintendent's $30K Raise

Teacher Deyshia Hargrave spoke up at school board meeting, ended up in handcuffs
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2018 9:00 AM CST

(Newser) – A Louisiana school board meeting had on its agenda what appeared to be a fairly routine contract approval for the district's superintendent. But the Monday evening meeting ended up in the arrest of Kaplan middle school English teacher Deyshia Hargrave after she juxtaposed Jerome Puyau's new contract, which includes a $30,000 raise, with the topic of teacher salaries and raises, NBC News reports. In a video of the meeting, which was first posted on KATC, Hargrave calls the raise, Puyau's first since he became superintendent in 2013, a "slap in the face," noting that raises and pay should be discussed for "teachers, … cafeteria workers [and] other support staff." She continues even after a board member tells her her point is not "germane" to the conversation, at which point a city marshal hired to provide security comes over and asks her to leave.

"I hope somebody has this on video," one spectator can be heard saying as the marshal tells Hargrave he'll remove her. She then picks up her purse and walks out, but a minute or so later, there are loud words in the hall and Hargrave is seen on the floor, yelling and being handcuffed. She was booked into city jail on charges of staying after being forbidden and resisting arrest and released on bond. Board President Anthony Fontana tells KATC the whole thing was a "setup" and that the marshal performed his duties properly. One of the board members tells the AP that women who've spoken up at previous meetings have been removed, but not men—a claim backed by the board's other female member. The AP notes the school board's offices were locked down Tuesday after death threats in response to the video of Hargrave's arrest. The teacher's union and the ACLU are looking into the incident. (Read more Louisiana stories.)

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