Vermilion Ruling A Victory for Teachers, Public Declares Attorney General Jeff Landry
Pledges Continued Enforcement of Open Meetings Law
BATON ROUGE, LA - A district court late last
week ruled in favor of Attorney General Jeff Landry when determining the Vermilion
Parish School Board violated Louisiana’s Open Meeting Law for removing teacher
Deyshia Hargrave from a meeting after she criticized the district
superintendent's pay raise.
In making his ruling, 15th Judicial District
Court Judge David Smith also nullified the action taken at that January 8th
special meeting: the granting of a roughly $30,000 pay raise to Schools
Superintendent Jerome Puyau.
"As I said before, every community has a
stake in the performance and the governance of its public schools," said
General Landry. "The community's views and thoughts should be taken into
account before any action or discussion on an agenda item occurs."
“Ms. Hargrave has been a dedicated public
servant, educating our State's youth and even earning Middle School Teacher of
the Year Honors for her efforts," added General Landry. "Her voice
and the voices of her fellow teachers, who have not received a pay increase in
many years despite growing class sizes, should have absolutely been heard."
“I applaud Judge Smith for remedying this
injustice, including assurance the Board will abide by the laws and policies
related to public comment at future meetings,” concluded General Landry.
"And I pledge to continue diligent enforcement of our Open Meetings Law."