A middle school teacher in Louisiana was thrown out of a school board meeting, handcuffed and arrested this week after asking why the superintendent was getting a raise while teachers were not. Twelve minutes of video footage recording the arrest was captured by a local media station and went viral on YouTube.
That thing called the First Amendment …
At Monday’s school board meeting, Deyshia Hargrave, an English teacher at Rene A. Rost Middle School in southern Louisiana, said it was a “slap in the face” to educators, cafeteria workers and other staff not to get a raise when classroom sizes were growing.
“We are doing the work, the students are doing the work,” Hargrave said. “At the top, that is not where kids learn. It is in the classroom, and those teachers like myself are not getting a dime from that. And that is unspeakable.”
“First Amendment, not to be trifled with,” Glenn said on today’s show. He noted that the teacher was not being disruptive in the meeting; the issue was that the school board was uncomfortable with her question.
“The floor was open for public comment. Hargrave is a citizen exercising her right to speak,” he said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: The First Amendment is not something to be trifled with. Yet, it seems to happen somewhere in the country every day now.
This week in Louisiana, a female middle school English teacher was arrested for speaking at a school board meeting. Her crime? Apparently asking why the school district’s superintendent was getting a $30,000 raise when teachers and other support staff haven’t received a raise in over ten years.
Seems like a pretty fair question. She pointed out that the district’s improved test scores and state ranking are due to the efforts of the teachers, yet they continue to deal with much larger class sizes with no extra compensation.
The teacher, Deyshia [pronounced Day-sha] Hargrave, was not being disruptive. She stood to speak with permission from the meeting chairman after he had opened the floor for audience comments.
But the school board evidently didn’t like Ms. Hargrave’s question very much. One board member pounded his gavel and told her to “Stop, right now – that’s not germane to what’s on the agenda tonight.” Then she was approached by a police officer who told her to leave. Hargrave walked herself out of the room, but the officer followed her.
In the hallway, people attending the meeting could hear a commotion as Hargrave was suddenly handcuffed on the floor, led out of the building, put in a patrol car, and taken to jail.
It was a public meeting. The floor was open for public comment. Hargrave is a citizen simply exercising her right to speak and petition her government. Instead she was silenced and carted off to jail.
Fortunately, a local TV station covering the school board meeting got the incident on camera and the footage has gone viral. After reviewing the footage, the local city prosecutor decided not to pursue charges against Hargrave. That’s the very least the city could do after such a ridiculous, unconstitutional arrest.
By the way, the school board approved the superintendent’s raise at the meeting. The teachers will have to continue waiting on theirs. Meanwhile, at least they have an object lesson about the importance of the First Amendment to take back to their students. And here’s hoping they do, because a lot of America just doesn’t seem to get it.