Teacher union hopes to intervene in AG's lawsuit - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Teacher union hopes to intervene in AG's lawsuit

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Vermilion Parish School Board Vermilion Parish School Board

The Vermilion Parish Chapter of the Louisiana Association of Educators plans to involve itself in the Attorney General's lawsuit against the Vermilion Parish School Board. 

Last week, AG Jeff Landry sued the board over a meeting that happened in January, alleging that the board violated the state Open Meetings Law. To read that story, click here

This weekend, the teacher's group posted this statement on their Facebook page: 

The Executive Board of the VAE adopted a resolution and has authorized Legal Counsel to file a “Petition of Intervention.” We support Open Meetings Laws and the rights of all citizens. Along with the citizens of Vermilion Parish, we are very interested in how our democratic process plays out.

A petition of intervention is filed by a party that was to be involved in a lawsuit that already exists. Once the petition is filed, the Court decides if that party has standing to participate in the lawsuit. In other words, the party who wants to intervene must have a legal right to be involved, and that's decided by the Judge, not the party. 

The Louisiana Associate of Educators issued a statement this afternoon: 

On leaders of the Vermilion Association of Educators (VAE) announced they are signing a resolution and have joined Attorney General Jeff Landry’s suit against the Vermilion Parish School Board for actions taken against teacher Deyshia Hargrave in January. Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) President Debbie Meaux, also a former teacher, made the following statement after the VAE’s announcement.

“Former Teacher of the Year Deyshia Hargrave’s voice was silenced at a Vermilion Parish School Board meeting when she questioned the allocation of the districts’ precious dollars,” Meaux said. “She was standing up for her students and her fellow teachers, and for this, she was arrested. This was an egregious and unjust act. Attorney General Landry’s decision to file suit makes it crystal clear that what the school board did was wrong."

“The Vermilion Association of Educators has joined the Attorney General in this suit because educators must know that it is safe to stand up for their students,” said Vermilion Association of Educators President Suzanne Breaux. “Our school board set a terrifying precedent when they arrested a teacher for speaking out. The hardworking educators of this parish will not be coerced into silence.”

Deyshia Hargrave also responded to the Attorney General’s decision to file suit against the school board.

“I try to teach my students that in this life there are consequences. The Vermilion Parish School Board unjustly denied me my freedom to speak,” Hargrave said. “I appreciate Attorney General Jeff Landry and the Vermilion Association of Educators’ efforts to hold the school board accountable for this blatant violation. This should never happen to another educator.”

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