School chief whose pay sparked teacher handcuffing placed on leave


A Louisiana school superintendent whose hefty pay increase led to the videotaped handcuffing of a complaining teacher has been put on paid administrative leave.

South Louisiana news outlets report Jerome Puyau was placed on leave Monday night after the Vermilion Parish School Board voted to investigate a list of complaints by his critics.

Puyau has been Vermilion’s superintendent since 2013. In January, members renewed his contract with a raise of about $30,000. A teacher who questioned the raise at a board meeting was then handcuffed in a rough, video-recorded arrest that sparked outrage around the U.S. The board’s president later resigned.

Puyau’s backers credit him with the Vermilion school system’s high state rankings. Opponents allege he has been confrontational and disrespectful to opponents and has improperly overruled board decisions.

In interviews Monday and Tuesday, Puyau attributed the controversy to “small town, rural politics.” He said sometimes he and some board members disagree about how much authority he has to hire and fire people under state law.

He also said some of the complaints listed Monday night were from previous evaluations, prior to the board’s decision to renew his contract at higher compensation in January.

“It’s ridiculous that we keep coming back to the same items over and over,” Puyau told KATC-TV. “There’s nothing that they can find or anything that they can investigate that has any substance.” He also said he is receiving legal advice on his next steps.

Read more at the NY Post