A Louisiana teacher who was handcuffed and arrested after criticizing a budget proposal at a school board meeting condemned her treatment and urged other teachers to speak out, in a video posted online Wednesday.
An officer handcuffed and arrested middle school English teacher Vermilion Parish’s Deyshia Hargrave Monday night, as seen in a YouTube video with over 2.5 million views, according to The Associated Press.
The Vermilion Parish school board was voting on a contract raising Superintendent Jerome Puyau’s salary by approximately $30,000 to $140,000, a decision the board approved 5-3.
“How are you going to take that money, because it’s basically taken out of the pockets of teachers?” asked Hargrave.
“Stop right now!” said Anthony Fontana, the school board president. “That’s not germane to what’s on the agenda tonight.”
The crowd said: “Yes it is!” and Hargrave responded: “This directly speaks to what you were just voting on.”
Fontana apparently then gestured to a school resource officer, who told Hargrave to leave. The teacher consented and disappeared from cameras, but appeared a little while later on camera getting handcuffed and arrested.
The teacher was arrested on the charges of resisting an officer and “remaining after being forbidden,” but paid bond after taking her mug shot at the Abbeville, La., jail.
“I’m appalled at this,” said Hargrave in a video following the incident. “I’m hoping that you choose to speak out after seeing what happened to me.”
“When I went back to school today, I saw my children’s faces and they had so much care and so much love and so much gratitude for what I did and so did their parents,” she added.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) condemned the arrest as a First Amendment violation. The ACLU, along with the National Education Association, are investigating the situation.
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