I know we’re not supposed to have heroes, but some teachers deserve the title

The money is always supposed to move upwards, and it’s a crime to question it. Take, for example, this Louisiana teacher who dared to ask why administrators were getting raises when teacher salaries had been frozen for years:

Local news station KATC reports that Deyshia Hargrave, a teacher at Rene Rost Middle Schools in Kaplan, Louisiana, attended a Vermilion Parish School Board meeting on Monday to ask questions about how the board could vote to increase the superintendent’s pay despite the fact that many school employees have worked for years without a pay increase.

Hargrave was informed that she was not supposed to ask questions at the meeting, as this was only intended to be a forum for public feedback. Nonetheless, board members tried to answer her questions.

It seems to me that asking a question is a perfectly reasonable form of feedback, especially since asking administrators why they have given themselves a raise is much more polite than simply stating that you protest the inequities constructed by the ratfuckers in charge, which would not be a “question”, and therefore would be allowed.

Unfortunately, in America in 2018 there can only be one response to questioning authority.

Now they’re saying she wasn’t arrested, she was just thrown to the ground and handcuffed. Just.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    If CNN had been repressive on a similar scale when Miller completely freaked out, it would have earned him a beheading.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Why did the marshal throw an uppity woman to the ground and handcuff her? Because he could.

  3. Ogvorbis wants to know: WTF!?!?!?! says

    So is the parish school board making the assertion that teachers are not members of the public? They are not voting citizens?

  4. whywhywhy says

    I hope she is a union member or else I fear that she will be ‘let go’ at the end of the school year…

  5. Michael says

    I was a bit surprised by a recent video that Aronra posted, showing a public forum with a school board. Members of the public, from the school catchment area only, were allowed to stand up and make a statement. However no questions would be responded to, so the school board members merely looked at them like deer at headlights, while people complained about not being able to have a dialogue with them. Outsiders like Aron we told that they were not permitted to speak. All I could think of was what a strange Douglas Adams-like system they had (and by that I mean like voting for lizards in Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

  6. says

    Stop resisting.

    That warning isn’t just going out to the woman being handcuffed and physically handled for no reason. That warning is going out to all citizens. Stop resisting. Never question authority.

    The weirdest thing to me is how many gun fondlers who talk about the need to prevent tyranny in government often cheer on tyranny in government. It turns out when they say “tyranny” they mean policies they don’t like.

  7. says

    birgerjohansson @4

    It’s interesting that they gender-swapped the characters in that story to have a woman freak out over a common man touching her and then having him killed.

  8. robro says

    rietplum — “Is that seriously a US marshal?” That’s not a US Marshal, a Federal officer. That’s an Abbeville, LA city marshal, a local cop to keep order in public meetings.

  9. rietpluim says

    robro, thanks, I thought all marshals were federal officers, but apparently I was wrong. He is a real police officer nonetheless, not a private security guard, and it keeps baffling me how police in the US keeps violating people’s rights instead of defending them.

  10. mamba says

    What specifically did she do to get kicked out? She asked a question.

    Or to ask another way, what crime did they charge her with? Was she asked to leave and refused? when they were placing handcuffs on her, did it not occur to them that she was not resisting (that I could see anyway)?

    What’s next, yelling “QUIET BIT*H!” and pimp-slapping her into submission? sheesh!

  11. says

    baffling me how police in the US keeps violating people’s rights instead of defending them.

    The cops don’t work for her. The cops work for the establishment. Therefore the cop was doing their job: suppressing lese majeste aimed at the establishment.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    Tabby Lavalamp @ 11,
    Maybe there is a closer analogue to be found at SMBC, but it took forever to browse the archive. I settled for that example because of the extreme disproportionality of the response.
    — — — — —
    In Putin’s Russia, nobody would have been surprised. The next step is to have self-appointed uniformed cossacks walking the street wielding whips and hitting demonstrants, independently of the official police.

  13. jrkrideau says

    @ 17 birgerjohansson
    I was thinking that the incident would have been considered extreme in Russia, if we except Chechnya.

    I mean this is a school board meeting and one of its teachers, not Pussy Riot storming the Kremlin.

  14. Paul K says

    As a school board member in my small community, I understand having a policy wherein board members do not respond to public comments. We have such a policy, and it is there to prevent people, both board members and the public, from getting contentious. We discuss things that are on the agenda, after folks from the public have the opportunity to make statements about anything they like. Often, these public comments lead to agenda items at the next meeting. Sometimes, public statements are based on misunderstandings, or, occasionally, on outright wrong information. We as board members typically don’t have the facts at our fingertips to give reasonable feedback to commenters, so we have a policy to listen but take no action. Usually, if someone is clearly upset, we acknowledge their feelings, and we often explain that we do not take immediate action.

    Having said all that, we do not have ‘marshals’ at our meetings. We do not shut down commenters for saying things we do not approve of. We often have to sit and listen to angry people excoriate us for past actions, or actions they think we are about to take. From their perspective, we deserve their angry responses, and we respect that. We make decisions that offend people. Sometimes, that cannot be helped. Those people have a right to express their disapproval.

    We also have a policy that says that employees are supposed to bring complaints to immediate supervisors, but if the problem is with supervisors, they can go higher up the chain, including to the board. We might have found this teacher’s comments inappropriate, too, but only because she should have called to get herself put on the agenda, rather than speaking in the public comments portion of the meeting. Still,we would not have shut her down, and of course, we would not have given raises to administrators before teachers who had not had raises in years. We also would not even have had a way to remove her from the meeting, nor should we.

    As a board, we recently watched a video as part of training for what to do if an active shooter enters one of our schools. The video was not a re-enactment, but actual footage where an angry, armed spouse of a recently-fired employee comes into a school board meeting. He ends up shooting one of the board members right before the police come in and shoot him dead. It was horrifying to watch, and led to a lot of discussion about what to do in such a case. I imagine that the reason that marshal was present at the meeting in this video was ostensibly to prevent such shootings. In our discussion, no one brought up having armed guards at our meetings. It never entered my head at all, and I doubt if it did in anyone else. Talk about shutting down public trust, and a forum for open comment. Just the thought of it is ugly. Also, on a much less important note, how do you justify the cost? We would have to pay the city to have a cop monitor our meetings.

  15. Gregory Greenwood says

    Well, that is a horrifyingly casual abuse of power in order to violently stifle not even debate, but the mere asking of a wholly legitimate question.

    With events like this so commonplace now, I think America needs to be formally prevented from using the title ‘land of the free’ on the basis that it is clearly false advertising.

  16. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Maybe we could require that when America is referred to as “the land of the free” that finger quotes be employed.

  17. Gregory Greenwood says

    Also, do not read the comments on the linked video in the OP, lest you find alt-Right idiots trying to argue that this all some ‘Left wing conspiracy’ or implying that she had it coming for breaking the arbitrary rules of the meeting. I wish I was joking.

  18. hotspurphd says

    Re 20 Gregory greenwood
    “With events like this so commonplace now, I think America needs to be formally prevented from using the title ‘land of the free’ on the basis that it is clearly false advertising.”

    Are events like this commonplace.? How many school board meetings were held where no one was abused for this kind of behavior? See #19.

  19. abusedbypenguins says

    Coppers motto; “To serve the rich and protect them from everyone else”.

  20. zetopan says

    I think that it is also important to remember that Louisiana is a state where it is “legal” to peddle creationism in the public schools, courtesy of professional jackass Bobby Jindal. Respect for teachers is not exactly high in that state.

  21. robro says

    rietplum — US Marshalls were the first Federal law enforcement agency, enacted by the first congress in 1790. Many of the famous lawmen of the West were US Marshalls because those areas were territories under Federal jurisdiction rather than states. Familiar names include Wild Bill Hickok, Bat Masterson, and Virgil Earp.

    However, it gets confusing because local towns would call their lawmen “marshals.” For example, Virgil Earp was both a US Marshal and the town marshal in Tombstone, Arizona Terr. in 1881 when he deputized his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, and their friend Doc Holliday to enforce the town’s “no carry” law.

    Hollywood has made it murkier, of course, although the fictional Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke was a US Marshal.

    In modern times, US Marshalls are probably most famous for enforcing court-ordered desegregation in Southern schools in the 60s.