School Board Receives Death Threats After Teacher Arrested for Asking About Superintendent's Salary

by | January 10, 2018

By Brian Lisi

The Louisiana school board that oversaw the removal and arrest of an outspoken teacher from a meeting is now getting showered with death threats.

Vermilion Parish School Board President Anthony Fontana said their offices went into a temporary lockdown Tuesday in response to the multitude of menacing messages they were receiving after footage of educator Deyshia Hargrave getting handcuffed for questioning the superintendent's $38,000 raise went viral.

Fontana said they've reported the threats to local law enforcement as well as the FBI, their origins as far reaching as England, South America and Australia, the Clarion Ledger reports.

In video captured both by local TV station KATC and a fellow meeting attendee, Hargrave can be seen first getting confronted by an officer with the Abbeville City Marshal's Office for speaking up during Monday night's meeting before he brings the Rene Rost Middle School teacher out into the hallway, then pushes her against a wall and onto the floor as he handcuffs her.

"His job is to make sure we have an orderly meeting," Fontana said, explaining he stands by the officer "100%."

"He knows what the law is. He knows what our policy is ... The officer did exactly what he is supposed to do."

Hargrave was charged with resisting an officer and "remaining after being forbidden." She has since been released on bond.

In addition to receiving support from the ACLU, Hargrave is working with Brian Blackwell, a lawyer with the Louisiana Association of Educators, of which she is a member.

"As an organization that advocates for the dedicated school employees of Louisiana, we firmly denounce the mistreatment of Ms. Hargrave, a loving parent and dedicated teacher serving the students of Vermilion Parish," the group wrote in a Facebook message.

"It is every citizen's right to speak up for their beliefs. Any action that infringes upon this right is unlawful and unacceptable."

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