Last Words



The Thrasher Group

January 12, 2018 - Volume 38 Issue 1

Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau is speaking out about the controversial arrest of one of his teachers. Deyshia Hargrave was taken into custody Monday (January 8 after questioning the superintendent’s roughly $30,000 pay raise at a board meeting. The former teacher of the year was arrested, but will not be prosecuted.

"At the top – that's not where kids learn. It's in the classrooms," Hargrave said during the meeting.

The board president ruled Hargrave out of order after she tried to speak for a second time. A deputy city marshal told her to leave and she complied. Then she was forcibly arrested outside in the hall.

Hargrave also released a video Wednesday saying she hopes people aren't afraid to speak out after seeing what happened to her.

Puyau's new contract bumps his yearly salary from $110,000 to roughly $140,000 – still less than average for superintendents in Louisiana. Teachers in the district also make less than the state average, and they haven't had a raise in a decade.

"Within the next few months we're going to be bringing to the board a plan where we can bring a raise," Puyau said.

While emotional over the backlash, Puyau says he doesn't blame the deputy marshal who arrested Hargrave.

"I'm the superintendent, I'm to blame," he said. "I should have stood up, okay? That's what you want to hear and it's the truth, I should have stood up ... Let her speak.”

Source: CBS news –

It is extremely arrogant and very foolish to think that you can ever outwit your audience - Twyla Tharp (1941 -), American dancer, choreographer, and author who lives and works in New York City. In 1966, she formed her own company Twyla Tharp Dance which features classical music, jazz, and contemporary and is credited with some of the best examples of crossover ballet.   

“West Virginians were really hurting….“And today, you’re going to have a hard time to keep me from smiling – and smiling an awful lot.” – Gov. Jim Justice in his State of the State address on the difference between the West Virginia’s financial situation one year ago and that of today

“This will not take money away from the schools or the counties because that money will be backfilled with this $20 million a year.” – House Speaker Tim Armstead, promising that phasing out the property tax on industrial inventory and equipment would not hurt school districts or county governments, which depend on the tax’s revenue

“We have to look at the numbers to make sure that school systems are not harmed in any way.” –Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, on the proposed tax reduction

“We can do the pay raises.” – Senate President Mitch Carmichael on proposed pay raises for teachers and state workers

“I think it’s very positive, and clearly, education promises to be a major focus of our legislative session this year.” – House Education Chairman Paul Espinosa on the governor’s education proposals

“We are displacing a group of agencies that were founded 46 years ago in 1972 in a 197-word bill. We’re replacing these agencies, and so there’s a lot of change.” – WVSBA Executive Director Howard O’Cull on issues involved in the elimination of Regional Education Service Agencies

“This idea is both very complex, but it’s pretty simple as well. You have to get over the complexity to get the simplicity.”—Howard O’Cull

“Maybe the biggest challenge they have right now is the behavioral/mental health of our students who are affected by the opioid crisis. We have a lot of teachers who would like to have some extra help with how to handle their classrooms because of the things that are going on as a result of the opioid crisis, but there’s no money for them to receive that training.” – Jason  Butcher, coordinator for the state school board

“I think the sooner we can get young people directed on a pathway that makes sense to them and to their parents the more we’re going to see kids enroll in community and technical colleges and even four-year colleges.” – Supt. Steve Paine