A Louisiana teacher ejected from a school board meeting and roughly handcuffed in a video-recorded arrest after she questioned her superintendent’s pay raise said a lawsuit is likely, reports the Associated Press. Deyshia Hargrave said, “I clearly feel my First Amendment rights were violated, and I feel like, yeah, there will be a lawsuit filed for that.” About 100 people chanting “Stand by Deyshia” and waving signs heralding free speech gathered in a light rain Thursday night to support Hargrave. The teacher believes Vermilion Parish, La., School Board President Anthony Fontana should resign. She declined to suggest any discipline for Reggie Hilts, the deputy city marshal who handcuffed her on the hallway floor after she left the meeting and marched her out of the building.
The American Civil Liberties Union and her union are investigating. The turmoil came after the board’s 5-3 vote Monday night approving a new three-year contract raising Schools Superintendent Jerome Puyau’s salary by roughly $30,000, to about $140,000 annually, with incentive targets that could add 3 percent a year. Hargrave questioned Puyau’s raise, given that teachers haven’t received an increase in 10 years, despite growing class sizes and other demands. Fontana then declared that her comment wasn’t “germane” to the vote on the contract, and banged his gavel in an attempt to silence her. Fontana beckoned to the officer, who interrupted Hargrave while she was speaking and ordered her out. The officer followed her into the hallway, where a camera recorded her on the floor with her hands behind her back, being handcuffed and complaining that the officer had pushed her down.