Louisiana superintendent who sacrificed a teacher's constitutional rights should resign!
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On Monday, Jan. 8th, 2018, in a small meeting room in Abbeville, La., a trusted public school leader stood by silently and allowed the abuse of one of his employees. His name is Jerome Puyau, the CEO of Vermillion Parish Public Schools on the southern coast of LA. The employee is Deyshia Hargrave, a middle school English Language Arts teacher at Rene A. Rost Middle School. On that night, she rose from her seat during a board meeting and respectfully addressed Superintendent Puyau and the Vermillion Parish School Board and raised questions regarding a vote for a 3 year contract extension and a $38K pay raise for Puyau. Her outrage was founded in the fact that teachers in that school system had not experienced a pay raise in 10 years, all while their class size and work load increased. Almost immediately, the School Board President, Anthony Fontana, slammed his gavel and instructed Hargrave to cease her questions as they were not 'germane' to that night's agenda. Within minutes, this former Teacher of the Year was being directed to leave by another employee, Reggie Hilts, security officer. As this played out, Puyau sat in full view with downcast eyes as one of his trusted and loyal employees was sacrificed. After the middle school teacher complied with the demands of Mr. Hilts and exited the room, there was a scuffle in the hallway as he wrestled her to the floor into handcuffs. Not once did Supt. Puyau show concern or take any responsibility for what was happening just outside where he sat between his two employees. Not once did he demonstrate leadership or compassion. But now, days later and after he, his office and his family have received death threats, he publicly sheds tears and claims responsibility. Sorry Jerome, your moment of truth came and went and you chose to be weak and ineffective and selfish. Vermillion Parish Schools deserves better. This is a call for you to step down and by doing so, allow the Abbeville community time to heal from a nationally recognized embarrassing episode that reflects poorly on them, but only because they hired and trusted you.
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