Vermilion School Board Members' opinions split on teacher arrest - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Vermilion School Board Members' opinions split on teacher arrest

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Vermilion Parish School Board President Anthony Fontana said Tuesday he fully supports a deputy marshal's decision to remove and arrest a Vermilion Parish teacher from Monday's school board meeting during public comment.

As for the rest of the school board members, not everyone agrees.

"I've been on the school board some 27 years, and I've never experienced what I've experienced last night," said school board member Kibbie Pillette.

In an interview with KATC Tuesday, Fontana also said some of the board members may have ulterior motives surrounding the incident.

"One of the important things about this issue is that I think it was all set up. The other four board members, it's now three, have been committed to getting rid of the superintendent," said Fontana.

Pillette also acknowledged a separation among the board members. He didn't say he wanted the superintendent out but said he and some of the other members' votes wouldn't have mattered anyway. 

"We're like the step-children on the board. We don't have a voice. And it's been that way since Mr. Herpin, who was the other member that voted with us, died," said Pillette.

Fontana insisted that apparent group of board members are on a mission for a new superintendent.

"The whole issue from day one with them was that they were not going to give him a contract," said Fontana.

According to Fontana, state law requires the board to offer the superintendent a contract. It's what's inside that contract that some of the board members, and at least one teacher, had a problem with.

"They finally realized that they couldn't stop the contract so they had to shift the focus that would have the maximum effect, hopefully, on the whole teachers employment body to where they would get upset and then we end up having this woman come," said Fontana.

Pillette said he was in favor of renewing the superintendent's contract, but only if his current salary stayed the same.

"We knew they had five votes. They were going to out-vote us no matter what we did, but I assumed that they would be reasonable," said Pillette. 


Vermilion Parish educators stand behind Deyshia Hargrave

A look at the vote on Superintendent Puyau's new contract

UPDATE: Board president thinks incident with teacher was a "set up" / FULL COVERAGE

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