A Louisiana teacher was escorted out of a school board meeting in handcuffs after she asked a question about teacher pay in the school district, and a disturbing video shows what appears to be egregious aggression on the part of the city marshal who took her out of the meeting and later booked her into jail.
Local news station KATC reports that Deyshia Hargrave, a middle school language arts teacher in Vermillion Parish, asked a question about salaries and raises for teachers in the school district during Monday’s meeting. She reportedly had an exchange with school board president Anthony Fontana, who accused her of being out of order for asking questions during the public comment segment of the meeting.
When Hargrave again asked a question, a city marshal approached her and asked her to leave the meeting. A witness obtained a video recording of the incident, which shows Hargrave briefly verbally protest her expulsion and instruct the city marshal not to touch her before walking out of the room on her own.
The video then cuts to a disturbing scene in a hallway outside the meeting room, in which Hargrave is on the floor while the marshal handcuffs her.
“What are you doing? What are you doing?” Hargrave can be heard saying.
“Stop resisting,” the marshal responds.
“I was not … you just pushed me to the floor,” the teacher says before she is escorted, handcuffed, out of the building.
According to KATC, Hargrave was booked into jail on charges of remaining after being forbidden and resisting an officer, even though the school district superintendent called the city jail to say the school district was not planning on pressing any charges.
Abbeville’s city attorney and prosecutor Ike Funderburk confirmed to the news station that Hargrave would not be facing any charges, and that he had seen the video.
“I have reviewed the video and I am not going to approve any charges against the teacher,” Funderburk said.
“I talked with the attorney for the school board, and they do not wish to pursue any charges against the teacher.”
The city attorney also clarified that the city marshal who escorted Hargrave out of the meeting was working for the school board, not the city of Abbeville.
The Abbeville Police Department has released a statement in response to numerous calls about the incident:
“In response to the numerous requests for the teacher’s booking information, the Abbeville Police Department is cooperating as directed by law. The Abbeville Police Department did not arrest the teacher. Due to the location of her arrest and the arresting agency’s jurisdiction, which includes the city limits of Abbeville, she was booked in and bonded from the local police department. The Abbeville Police Department has received numerous emails and phone calls about the arrest but all questions concerning this incident should be made to the Vermilion Parish School Board.”
In additional video obtained by CBS News, a woman identified as a member of the school board reacts to what many at the meeting reportedly felt was outrageous treatment of the teacher.
“What happened here tonight … the way that females are treated in Vermillion Parish,” the woman says while a chorus of male voices can be heard saying “come on” and “terrible.”
Off-camera, another woman replies to the school board member’s comments.
“I have never seen a man removed from this room. I have never. I have never seen a man removed from this room.”
[Feature image: YouTube video screenshot/Deyshia Hargrave and city marshal]