by Russell | January 11, 2018 12:51 am
A Louisiana school board’s office was shut down temporarily after death threats were sent after a video surfaced of a teacher being handcuffed at a school board meeting.
Plenty of people are upset, and some are hiding behind the anonymity of the internet in issuing death threats to the Vermilion Parish School Board in Louisiana. The school board President, Anthony Fontana, told The Advertiser that the threats have been reported the the FBI and to local police.
The controversy that was the impetus for the outrage occurred at a school board meeting on Monday night. Middle school English teacher Deyshia Hargrave was handcuffed and removed from the meeting after she objected to the superintendent getting a potential pay raise of $38,000. She was forcibly removed by a police officer after raising this concern during the public comment section of the meeting.
She told the board that it was a “slap in the face” for the school superintendent, who was already making $110,000, to be getting a new, more lucrative contract.
“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.
“We work very hard with very little to maintain the salaries we have. I don’t care if the performance targets are met — you’re making our jobs even more difficult. We’re meeting those goals, while someone in that position is getting a raise? It’s a sad, sad day to be a teacher,” Hargrave said to board members.
“When I first started teaching there was like 20 kids in a class and now there are 29 kids in a class, and we have not have been given raises. How are you going to take that money? It’s basically taking it out of our pockets,” she continued.
A video obtained by KATC surfaced that show Hargrave complying with the orders that a city marshal was giving her. Next, the video shows her screaming on the floor as the marshal handcuffed her hands.
“Stop resisting,” the marshal says, lifting Hargrave to her feet and pushing her towards an exit.
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“I am not, you just pushed me to the floor,” Hargrave responds as she is handcuffed. “Sir, I am way smaller than you.”
Hargrave posted bond and was released from the Abbeville jail on charges of “remaining after being forbidden” and resisting an officer. The city attorney, Ike Funderburk, told KATC they will not prosecute the Hargrave.
“This is the most disgraceful and distasteful thing I have ever seen,’ an audience member said as Hargrave made her way out.
Another board member expressed her displeasure.
“No reason for anyone to be treated this way. So far in three years, only women have been removed from board room meetings,” Sara Duplechain emailed the Associated Press.
The Louisiana Association of Educators has a lawyer for Hargrave.
“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,” the union’s statement said.
The ACLU division in Louisiana said it was also investigating.
“Deyshia Hargrave’s expulsion from a public meeting and subsequent arrest are unacceptable and raise serious constitutional concerns,” they said in a news release.
A rally is planned to support Hargrave on Thursday night.
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