WATCH: La. Teacher Is Handcuffed After Criticizing Superintendent's Raise at School Board Meeting
Deyshia Hargrave, who is a language arts teacher, was arrested soon after speaking out against a $38,000 raise for Superintendent Jerome Puyau
A Monday night school board meeting in Louisiana has captured national attention after video surfaced of a police officer appearing to violently detain a teacher moments after she condemned the district’s superintendent for accepting a pay raise, PEOPLE confirms.
Footage from the Vermillion Parish School Board meeting has been shared thousands of times via social media.
The footage shows a woman who identifies herself as Deyshia Hargrave — who according to the district website is a language arts teacher at Rene Rost Middle School in Kaplan — speaking out against a $38,000 raise for Superintendent Jerome Puyau prior to the board’s vote approving the salary increase.
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“I have a serious issue with a superintendent or any person of leadership getting any type of raise,” Hargrave said. “I feel like it’s a slap in the face to all the teachers, cafeteria workers and any other support staff we have. We work very hard, with very little, to maintain the salaries we have.”
Hargrave noted that teachers and other district staffers have gone years without raises, despite what she characterized as increasing class and improving test scores.
Hargrave was asked to leave after the meeting was opened to public comment.
She continued criticizing the board for approving the raise, and not long into her comments, she was ruled by the board president, Anthony Fontana, as being out of order.
A city officer was asked to step in to remove her.
The video shows that once she was outside in the hallway, Hargrave was handcuffed after being dropped to the floor. It is unclear what charge she was initially facing, and it was not immediately clear if she had a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.
“Stop resisting,” the officer warns her.
“I’m not — you just pushed me to the floor,” Hargrave responds.
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She continues to protest as she is shoved towards an exit.
“Hold on, I am way smaller than you,” Hargrave is heard saying.
PEOPLE was unable to reach Hargrave or Puyau for comment.
But the superintendent told reporters the district would not pursue criminal charges against the teacher.
PEOPLE’s calls to Kaplan Police were not immediately returned.