Louisiana Teacher Escorted Out of School Board Meeting

Last week a Louisiana teacher was ejected from a school board meeting after questioning the pay increase for the Superintendent.

Deyshia Hargrave, a teacher at Rene Rost Middle School, was ordered to leave the meeting by the President of the Vermillion Parish School Board, Anthony Fontana, after asking how the Superintendent could accept a $30,000 pay bump when teachers haven’t received a pay raise in years.

Fontana warned Hargrave that the public comments section of the meeting was for public comments only, no questions allowed. When she proceeded to ask her question, a city deputy marshal escorted her out of the room.

Superintendent Jerome Puyau’s salary was proposed to increase to $140,000 annually. The board ultimately approved the raise in a 5-3 vote.

In a phone interview with WAFB, Mr. Fontana claimed that the incident could be blamed on no one except for the teacher by drawing similarities from him kicking her out to a teacher having to remove a disruptive student.

Initially Superintendent Puyau shaerd similar sentiments to Fontana, but in a different interview later he stated he “hated what happened,” and that as superintendent he should have stood up for Hargrave. “I,” Puyau told CBS reporters in tears.

In a video posted by the Louisiana Association of Educators Facebook page, Deyshia Hargrave justified why she chose to speak up, explaining that the issue was directly related to her, her students, and her peers, and encouraged people to exercise their first amendment right to speak out on issues they believe in.