Louisiana Teacher Arrested for Speaking Out – About the Wrong Problem
Louisiana Teacher Deyshia Hargrave from Vermilion Parish School District was arrested because she spoke out against the District’s Superintendent receiving a $30,000 a year raise, while teachers have not received a raise in over a decade. Now I agree with her that Superintendent Jerome Payau should not have asked for the raise; the perception makes him appear to be extremely greedy. Yes he most likely deserves a raise as do most teachers; however money is not what teachers should be speaking out about. We knew what the pay was when we got into this profession so we should stop following the evil National Education Association’s blather giving the perception all teachers care about is money.
What should we be speaking out against? Working conditions, the lack of respect teachers are given by administration, parents and most of all the students. We are expected to teach students who are disruptive and rude; those who do not care about education, special ed students that have to be given special treatment as well as students that do not speak English. These are issues we should be speaking out LOUDLY about.
An example of this disrespect is the expectation that teachers and students have to follow the same rules and I am not talking about laws, I am talking about school rules. A Louisiana lawyer cited, correctly, how the Constitution prevents any government entity (such as a school district) from preventing or punishing people for expressing their views. The School Board President Anthony Fontana had this foolishly ignorant analogy in dismissing this part of the Constitution, “If a teacher has the authority to send a student, who is acting up and can’t control, out of the classroom to the principal’s office, under our policy we have the same rules.”
This is something that should outrage all of us; but this is truly the case; teachers are treated just like children. I guess teachers should not be allowed to drive, vote, drink or smoke; they should have a curfew, only allowed to watch TV or use the computer for a certain amount of time.
Adults are different than children and should be treated that way; that is called respect. Deyshia was not being disrespectful, yelling or causing much of a scene, although Board President Fontana was extremely rude, telling her to stop in the middle of her speaking. She was asked to leave and then left and still ended up arrested and in cuffs. This is the kind of treatment teachers receive and we wonder why it is so challenging to recruit teachers.
And as far as teachers sending out student for being disruptive, I am willing to bet that teachers in this district are punished more for sending a student to the office than the student. This is one of the major problems in public education today is the belief that teachers should handle discipline problems in the classroom. What this does is take teaching time away from those students that want to learn. One of my steps in fixing education is to take these discipline problems out of the classroom and give it to administration… that is their job. The first step in fixing our Public Schools is to “Focus on the Drop-In rate, not the Drop-Out rate.”