‘I Want Change to Come via This kind of,’ Louisiana Teacher Says of Arrest
Ms. Hargrave was arrested on Monday at a Vermilion Parish School Board meeting shortly after questioning the board’s decision to give a raise to Jerome Puyau, the superintendent, along with renew his contract.
A video showed a city marshal, identified as Reggie Hilts, approaching her as she spoke during a portion of the meeting dedicated to public comment. He escorted her via the meeting, along with moments later she was handcuffed on the floor of a hallway.
Ms. Hargrave was arrested on charges of “remaining after having been forbidden” along with “resisting an officer,” according to Ike Funderburk, Abbeville’s city attorney along with prosecutor. nevertheless he decided not to pursue charges, as did a lawyer for the school board, Mr. Funderburk said on Tuesday.
After the episode attracted widespread news media attention, the officer involved drew more scrutiny.
In a lawsuit filed in 2012, Mr. Hilts along with another officer in Scott, La., were accused of using excessive force against a 62-year-old man by slamming his head on a concrete slab as he was arrested in 2011. The man, a hepatitis C patient with an enlarged spleen, was “in a very weakened physical condition because of chronic cirrhosis of the liver,” according to the lawsuit.
The officers denied which excessive force was used, saying the man had resisted arrest during a dispute over his lawn. The suit was settled in 2016, according to The Associated Press.
Mr. Hilts, a pastor at a local church, is actually married with two children, according to a biography on his church’s website.
The marshal’s office could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Ms. Hargrave teaches English to fifth- along with sixth-grade students at Rene A. Rost Middle School in Vermilion Parish on the southern Louisiana coast. In a video statement on Wednesday, she said she was “appalled by This kind of, along with you should be, too.”
She said she returned to school on Tuesday, hours after being freed via jail, along with which her students along with their parents had been supportive. She was trying to turn the ordeal into a learning experience, she said.
“Please don’t let the conversation end with me,” Ms. Hargrave said. “Please go to your local school board meetings. Speak out, be vocal.”
In an interview with NBC News, Mr. Puyau, the superintendent, said which he along with his family had been “bombarded” with death threats.
“Are there things which we could have done differently? I think the whole world knows we can, you see the item,” he said. “However, we have to come together along with say we have to follow the rules.”
Across the state, educators along with politicians expressed disappointment from the scene.
“Deyshia Hargrave’s expulsion via a public meeting along with subsequent arrest are unacceptable along with raise serious constitutional concerns,” Jane Johnson, the interim executive director of the A.C.L.U. of Louisiana, said in a statement. “The Constitution prohibits the government via punishing or retaliating against people for expressing their views, along with the fact which a schoolteacher was arrested at a public meeting of the school board is actually especially troubling.”
John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana governor, said on Wednesday which the arrest was “terribly unfortunate,” according to The Times-Picayune.
“the item should not have happened along with the item cast a negative light on our state along with, you know, the item’s very regrettable,” he said.
Teachers have used her experience as a rallying call.
“We are all stakeholders who not only possess the right to speak up for our students, nevertheless we also have a duty to do so,” Suzanne Breaux, president of the Vermilion Association of Educators, said at the rally on Thursday. “We are relevant, along with we will not be silenced any longer.”
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