As a human, woman, mother, taxpayer, teacher, vice president of an educational foundation and president of an advocacy foundation, I would be remiss if I didn't take a few minutes to use my voice and the power of social media to share my utter disappointment and outrage at how Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau handled being questioned about giving himself a pay raise. Deyshia Hargrave had every right to be there, and certainly every right to ask a very straightforward question. Puyau's reaction to being questioned by a strong woman gives us an even closer look at the pervasive marginalization of women in a male-dominated corporate society, and sends a clear message to the challenger and anyone who's contemplating speaking out, that even if you have a right to be heard, you had better sit down and keep your mouth shut — or else you could end up losing your job, or be put in cuffs and charged with whatever they want when you violate their unspoken rule of silence and subordination at all cost.

Handcuffed Vermilion teacher wants apology, says she hopes others become more involved in education

This speaks volumes about the officer's moral compass. He watched the whole thing from start to finish. His loyalty to the establishment gave way to his violation of several of Hargrave's constitutional rights. Perhaps we should call them conditional rights instead of constitutional rights when it comes to money, power, and titles. So, we find more and more instances where freedom of speech is costing poor people and people without power and status much more than we can afford to pay. This isn't being done by chance. It is being perpetrated upon us by design. I say, let's get in line and do as they say, and keep our mouths shut.  We can let the power of our vote speak all the truth to power we need! You can't stand to hear us? We can no longer stand to see you. Let's vote them out.

Cammie Maturin


New Iberia


Rene Rost Middle School teacher Deyshia Hargrave, standing left, talks with an Abbeville city marshal after making remarks at a Vermilion Parish School System meeting. Hargrave was placed in handcuffs outside the meeting and escorted away.