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Vermilion Parish superintendent speaks out for the first time si - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Vermilion Parish superintendent speaks out for the first time since teacher's arrest

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VERMILION PARISH, La. -

Many in Vermilion Parish are getting death threats over the arrest of middle school teacher Deyshia Hargrave, including the parish's superintendent, Jerome Puyau.

Puyau is pleading for death threats against himself, his family and others in the school system to stop. 

"Leave our communities out and our schools.. just stay away," begs Puyau.

Despite the threats and overwhelming outrage, Puyau stands by the officer who escorted Hargrave out of the building in handcuffs.

"Our people know what to do, and when it happened, that person, that marshal acted in what we asked him to do," said the Vermilion Parish superintendent. 

When the question was raised whether Puyau believes he should have acted differently during Monday's meeting, he said it would have all come down to protocol.

"Protocol says: Go to the podium. State your name. You have three minutes. That way, there is no ambiguity if someone received the authority to speak or not," said Puyau.

The superintendent also refuted the allegation that women are mistreated in the Vermilion Parish School System.

"Ninety percent of our administrators are women. Majority of our teachers are women, and we don't treat anybody differently. I value women. I value their authority. They are equal to any man," contends  Puyau.

Superintendent Puyau says the parish needs to focus on healing and moving forward together. 

The community is invited to a rally in support of Hargrave tomorrow at Magdalen Square in Abbeville at 3:45 p.m.

Puyau said he stands behind his educators supporting their fellow educator.

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