Stop resisting

There’s that teacher in Louisiana who was arrested and handcuffed for asking questions at a school board meeting about why an administrator was getting a raise while teachers hadn’t had a raise in years.

Deyshia Hargrave had a question for the Vermillion Parish School Board: Why was the superintendent getting a pay raise when teachers like her and other school employees hadn’t had one in years?

“I feel like it is a slap in the face of all the teachers, cafeteria workers and any other support staff we have,” she told the board in a public meeting Monday. “We work very hard with very little.”

What happened next might have stayed in the tiny Louisiana town of Abbeville, about 150 miles west of New Orleans. But captured on videotape and viewed nearly 2 million times on YouTube, it became an international incident. The school board reportedly received death threats from around the world, as local parents and teachers planned their own protests.

Nix the death threats, dammit. Can people not object to something without making death threats?!

As the superintendent, Jerome Puyau, began to respond to Hargrave, a city marshal approached the middle-school English teacher.

“You are going to leave or I am going to remove you,” the marshal said. “Take your things and go.”

“Excuse me,” she said to him.

“Is it against policy to stand?” she asked the board as the marshal attempted to grab her arm.

Hargrave then grabbed her purse and began to exit the meeting room as members of the audience protested. “This is the most disgraceful and distasteful thing I have ever seen,” one woman said as Hargrave made her way out.

Seconds later, the crowd expressed alarm when a man announced Hargrave was being handcuffed.

The camera then showed Hargrave lying on the floor of the hallway.

“What are you doing?” Hargrave screamed as the marshal handcuffed her hands behind her back. “Are you kidding me?”

“Stop resisting,” the marshal said, hustling Hargrave toward an exit after lifting her to her feet.

“I am not. You just pushed me to the floor,” Hargave responded. “Sir … I am way smaller than you.”

She’s not being prosecuted, but the school board president, Anthony Fontana, nevertheless says it was her fault.

In a Wednesday interview with the local KPEL-FM radio station, Fontana said that Hargrave was at fault.

The board’s agenda Monday night, Fontana said, was simply to vote up or down on the superintendent’s contract, not to ask questions or discuss the issues of the contract.

“Let me tell you this: She’s a schoolteacher,” he said. “If a child gets up in her classroom and starts talking in the middle of the class and she tells the child to sit down and the child doesn’t sit down, what does she do? She removes the child from the classroom and sends them to the principal’s office. We have rules.”

Uhhh not the same thing. Different in so many ways. Adult citizens are not children.

Teachers do have a legitimate interest in why they’re not getting raises when the people who Administer them are.

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