A shocking video captured the moment that a Louisiana English teacher was handcuffed on the ground by a marshal after she spoke up at a school board meeting. During that meeting, Deyshia Hargrave vocalized her concern about the superintendent's pay raise. She asked why he was getting a raise when she and other school staff were not.
"I have a serious issue with a superintendent or any person in a position of leadership getting any type of raise. I feel like it's a slap in the face for the teachers, the cafeteria workers or any other support staff we have," Hargrave said during the meeting.
That question somehow led to an arrest.
KATC-TV recorded the arrest and posted a 12-minute version of it on YouTube.
Hargrave, who teaches English at Rene A. Rost Middle School in Vermilion Parish, will not face any charges following the arrest. The marshal was a school resource officer who is paid by the school board.
Ike Funderburk, an attorney and prosecutor for the city said: "I have reviewed the video and I am not going to approve any charges against the teacher. I talked with the attorney for the school board, and they do not wish to pursue any charges against the teacher."
He told the New York Times, “I have been to hundreds of school board meetings and I saw nothing from her conduct that was different from any of the others I have seen.”
He said that the teacher was arrested for “remaining [at the school board meeting] after having been forbidden” and for “resisting an officer.”
In the clip, the marshal can be heard telling Hargrave to “stop resisting.”
Board member Laura LeBeouf alleged that sexism may have fueled the arrest. She told the Associated Press that she has seen women removed from school board meetings multiple times for expressing themselves. She said that men are not treated this way.
Another board member, Sara Duplechain, echoed LeBeouf’s sentiment. "No reason for anyone to be treated this way. So far in three years, only women have been removed from boardroom meetings," she told the Associated Press.
Board President Anthony Fontana told KATC-TV that the removal of Hargrave was just.
"If a teacher has the authority to send a student, who is acting up and she can't control, out of the classroom to the principal's office, under our policy we have the same rules," he said. "We have certain rules: three-minute speech, it has to be civilized, it can't get off target, it has to be related to the issue before the board. That's not what was happening last night. [...] The marshal did his job. He went over there to settle it down. He couldn't settle it down. She's the one who made the choice to continue speaking," Fontana said. "He was taking her out. He wasn't arresting her. He was escorting her out, telling her don't come back tonight. It escalated out in the hall and she ended up getting arrested. "He did exactly what he was hired to do. He followed the procedures completely. She's the one who made the choices that got her arrested.”
He said that as a result of the chaos, the school board office has now been the target of death threats.