Teacher handcuffed at school board meeting after bringing up salary

Teacher handcuffed at school board meeting after bringing up salary

A Louisiana teacher who was forcibly removed from a school board hearing in a viral video clip was booked on two crimes and bonded out of jail Tuesday morning, court documents show.

Deyshia Hargrave, an English language arts teacher at Rene Rost Middle School in Kaplan, Louisiana, was questioning a proposed $38,000 raise for the district superintendent during the meeting's public comment period when a city marshal asked her to leave.

Told Hargrave (see first video below), 'For 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 for teachers, cafeteria workers and any other support staff we have'.

Footage from the Vermillion Parish School Board meeting, which has since gone viral, shows Deyshia Hargrave violently being pushed to the floor after following a city officer's orders to leave the meeting. After posing another question, an Abbeville city marshal on duty at the meeting grabbed Hargrave and removed her from the meeting. Handcuffs were later placed on Hargrave in the hallway, as she was removed from the building.

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"I'm not - you just pushed me to the floor", a visibly shaken Hargrave responded. The Abbeville Police Department did not arrest the teacher.

The meeting ended shortly after the episode, Laura LeBeouf, a school board member, said Tuesday in a phone interview. A 4-4 deadlock became 5-3 in favor of the new contract as the appointed member voted in favor of the renewal, she said.

Hargrave was arrested for resisting an officer and remaining after being forbidden, but the school system is not pressing charges, KATC reported.

"We are doing the work, the students are doing the work", Ms. Hargrave continued.

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From there, she was forced to the ground and handcuffed.

It remains unclear whether the marshal was acting on his own accord or on orders of the board members, according to KATC. The Constitution prohibits the government from punishing or retaliating against people for expressing their views, and the fact that a schoolteacher was arrested at a public meeting of the school board is especially troubling.

The Louisiana Association of Educators who is representing Hargrave released the following statement on the incident denouncing the treatment Hargrave experienced. The organization says the actions of the officer as 'unacceptable and raise serious constitutional concerns'.

Hargrave was warned that public comment was not for questions.

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