A Louisiana school districted is facing scrutiny after a viral video showed a teacher being handcuffed after questioning if the school's superintendent should receive a raise.
The incident took place on Monday during a meeting for the Vermilion Parish School Board. At one point a public comment period was allowed which is when teacher, Deyshia Hargrave stood up to oppose Superintendent Jerome Puyau receiving a raise, reported NPR.
"I have a serious issue with a superintendent or any person in a position of leadership getting any type of raise," she said in the video. "It's absurd that we're even considering giving someone a raise when these teachers are working this hard and not getting a dime."
The board then voted to approve the raise for Puyau, reportedly moving his salary from around $110,000 to more than $140,000.
Hargrave then asked the room, "How are you even going to take a raise?" she asked. "It's basically taking our money."
This prompted a security officer, later identified as a deputy city marshal paid by the school board, to approach Hargrave.
"You're going to leave or I'm going to remove you. Take your things and go," he said.
After she left the room, the security officer forcibly put Hargrave in handcuffs as other teachers looked on. The video of the arrest has been viewed over a million times and received outrage from people across the country.
The school board’s officers were locked down on Tuesday after receiving threats, board president Anthony Fontana told The Daily Advertiser.
Hargrave was booked into jail overnight, according to KATC, even though the superintendent said that "shortly after the meeting that he had called to inform police that the system didn't want any charges pressed."
"I have reviewed the video and I am not going to approve any charges against the teacher," Ike Funderburk, the city attorney in Abbeville, the parish seat, told KATC. "I have talked with the attorney for the school board. They do not wish to pursue any charges against the teacher."
The ACLU of Louisiana said Hargrave's removal and arrest "are unacceptable and raise serious constitutional concerns."
"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."
(Photo: Abbeville City Jail)
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