Vermilion superintendent suing school board


VERMILION PARISH — The superintendent of the Vermilion Parish School District suing the school board.

Superintendent Jerome Puyau is currently on paid administrative leave. Some members of the Vermilion Parish School Board voted to suspend him this Summer. Now he’s suing them for damages and the right for a fair hearing.

“What’s the point? That’s what everybody’s asking what’s the point?”, asked Lynn Vincent. He’s taught at the Vermilion Parish School District for 47 years.

It is a great place to go to school. It has become the fourth-ranked district out of the state’s 71, but it’s not what going on in the classroom everyone is talking about, but what’s happening to its leadership.

Vermilion Superintendent Jerome Puyau is currently on paid administrative leave. The school board voted to remove him from office while the district attorney conducts an investigation.

“They’re definitely handcuffing the superintendent from performing his duties”, Lynn stated.

But now Superintendent Puyau is striking back, suing the school board and naming four members: President Laura LeBeouf, Vice-President Kibbie Pillette, board member David Dupuis, and former member Sara Duplechain, claiming their actions have stained his reputation and future job opportunities. Puyau’s lawsuit also alleges he unfairly removed from his post.

“I don’t really want to choose I side”, admits Lesley Trahan. She used to work for the Vermilion Parish System, but resigned close to when the last investigation in Puyau found nothing wrong. Now she’s organizing a move against current board members, a committee seeking signatures for a recall election in select districts.

“I want to choose the side of my kids who are in the system and the teachers who are educating them, and refocus on them and getting the monies that are being spent elsewhere on them”.

Vermilion Parish School Board Vice President for District F Kibbie Pillette belittled the recalls last month, “I think it’s a waste of time. It was just done as a ploy to try and put pressure on the board members. We’re after the truth and nothing’s going to deter us from doing that”.

Vincent hopes his neighbors in Vermilion Parsh pick a side, so the back and forth can end, “If they feel like the board members are truly representing their constituents, then don’t sign the recall, but if they feel as us the board is just wasting money trying to remove the superintendent when they could be spending it on student and teachers then sign the recall”.

The petition organizers are holding multiple signing events this week. You can find more information on their facebook page.

Superintendent Puyau is currently on paid leave, but he is still trying to do as much of the job he can outside of his office and without speaking to other parish employees. Saturday, he attended the University of Louisiana Lafayette football game because two Vermilion Parish schools were recognized.

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