“A Louisiana school superintendent complained of obscenities and death threats directed at himself, his family and staff on Wednesday after a teacher who questioned his pay raise was roughly handcuffed at a school board meeting and taken to jail.”
If the video footage is anything to go by, to say she was roughly handled is putting it mildly. Moreover, there appears to have been no justification whatsoever for the cuffing and arrest (by an officer who towered over her).
Again, going by available video footage, the teacher appeared to be trying to comply with the officer’s order to leave the room:
“I’m going,” she says, and makes her way out. Moments later — after briefly leaving the view of any cameras — she was on the hallway floor with her hands behind her back, being handcuffed and complaining that the officer was hurting her.
“Stop resisting,” the marshal says, hustling Hargrave toward an exit after lifting her to her feet.
“I am not, you just pushed me to the floor,” Hargrave responds.
And now “the incident is being investigated by the National Education Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, which condemned her arrest as a violation of free speech.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards has also weighed in, saying “that the teacher’s rough treatment ‘cast a negative light’ on Louisiana and that he ‘didn’t see anything that warranted that type of action.'”
Update 4:15 p.m.:
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 she thinks a lawsuit is likely in the case.
Deyshia Hargrave declined, at first, to say with certainty whether she would file a lawsuit in the matter. “We’ll see how it goes,” she said when asked again. “But 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. Near tears at times, she thanked supporters who stood by her after the arrest and emphasized the need to speak out on important issues.