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Judge: Vermilion Parish School Board violated Open Meetings Law in teacher’s removal

Posted at 5:14 PM, Nov 17, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-31 16:18:30-04

ABBEVILLE – A judge ruled the Vermilion Parish School Board violated the Open Meetings Law in a special meeting in January of this year where a teacher was escorted out of the meeting by a police officer and subsequently arrested.

According to the Judge David M. Smith for the 15th Judicial District Court, the school board violated the law “by not allowing public comment at the appropriate time on all of the agenda items” and “by not allowing [the teacher] Deyshia Hargrave to finish commenting” on the agenda item regarding Superintendent Jerome Puyau’s contract.

According to the law,  LSA-R.S. 42:15:

“Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, each school board subject to the provisions of this Chapter, except as provided in Subsection B of this Section, shall allow public comment at any meeting of the school board prior to taking any vote. The comment period shall be for each agenda item and shall precede each agenda item.”

The ruling is nullifying all decisions made during the January meeting.

We reached out to Superintendent Puyau’s lawyer, Lane Roy, who says the ruling is appealable.