LAFAYETTE, La. (CNN) — A Louisiana middle school teacher was arrested after speaking out against pay practices at a school board meeting. She was dragged out by security officers and the violent act was caught on tape.
It’s a video that has since gone viral, after Rene Rost Middle School teacher Deyshia Hargrave questioned why Superintendent Jerome Puyau is getting a $30,000 pay raise, when teachers haven’t gotten a raise in years.
“Again, I’m going to use the word ‘absurd’ that we’re even considering giving someone a raise when these teachers are working this hard and not getting a dime,” Hargrave said.
In the video, Hargrave is asked to leave several times and continues to express her concerns.
That’s when school board president Anthony Fontana calls for the deputy marshall to escort her out.
He’s now defending his actions.
“She was interrupting the board meeting,” Fontana said. “She wouldn’t allow that to happen in a classroom, and she’s going to pull that stunt? A board member was recognized and a board member was getting ready to speak when she cut into him. That’s when the officer acted, and I think he acted properly.”
The board passed the vote to increase Puyau’s salary five-to-three Monday evening.
Puyau says the raise is justified, after five years of his salary being frozen solid.
“We are an ‘A’ district. We have a population close to 10,000 and my salary is one of the lowest salaries in the Acadiana area and in the state of Louisiana,” said Puyau. “It was time that we brought to the board a salary that was commensurate with what superintendents are making.
The city prosecutor for Abbeville says that while the incident is related to the school board only, he will not press charges against Hargrave.
“I’ve talked with the attorney for the school board. The school board does not wish to proceed with any criminal charges against the teacher,” said Ike Funderburk, prosecutor and city attorney for Abbeville. “And I, as city prosecutor, certainly am not going to press any charges on her.”
Abbeville police said Hargrave was bonded out of jail.