ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) – After an intense meeting and much debate Thursday night, the Vermilion Parish School Board voted to place superintendent Jerome Puyau on administrative leave.
But Puyau refused to accept the board’s decision.
It appeared to be business as usual at the VPSB office Friday morning with all staff in place including superintendent Jerome Puyau.
Except the super had his mouth taped shut, symbolic of the clause in his leave to not speak to anyone.
“While on leave the superintendent Shelby prohibited from communicating with anyone including but not limited to board employees and the media on behalf of the board or the school system”, Vermilion Parish School Board Vice President, Kibbie Pillette said Thursday as he read stipulations of the leave.
After Thursday night’s meeting, Superintendent Puyau said he is still the CEO of the Vermilion Parish School District.
Despite being placed on paid leave, he showed up to work Friday morning and went about his normal duties.
Puyau said, “They are claiming that this is not hurting me in any way because I’m being paid but it hurts in many ways. It hurts my family, it hurts the community, and especially it hurts our students”.
Students who out-performed every other school district in Acadiana last year by earning an A grade from the Department of Education.
Puyau alleges a few board members have hidden agendas.
“This is a whole new set of just pettiness, vindictiveness to have me removed as one of the best, and I consider myself one of the best, superintendents in the state of Louisiana.”
According to Puyau, he has no intention to file suit against the board but encourages the people of the parish to speak up to those who could ultimately decide his fate.
“Last night was from beginning to end nothing but a violation of my rights, the rights of many citizens, and the open meetings law”.
Puyau says public complaints of the board’s actions can be made to the district attorneys office or the attorney general.
It’s also worth noting, the board attorney says the board is within its rights.
Contrary to his leave requirements, Puyau says he plans on reporting to the school board office Monday.