By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press

A judge says a school board violated Louisiana's open-meetings law by ejecting a teacher who spoke out against giving the superintendent a $30,000 raise.

Judge David Smith also threw out the raise given Jan. 8 to Superintendent Jerome Puyau, who returned to work this month despite a 6-2 school board vote putting him on paid leave.

Smith ordered the board to follow the law and board policy about public comments, and to pay litigation costs.

State Attorney General Jeff Landry sued the school board. In a news release Monday, he called the ruling a victory for teachers and the public.

Neither Puyau nor teacher Deyshia Hargrave could immediately be reached for comment. Hargrave's removal and rough, video-recorded arrest sparked outrage across the U.S.

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ADDITION TO THE STORY - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry had this to say about the ruling:

"As I said before, every community has a stake in the performance and the governance of its public schools. The community's views and thoughts should be taken into account before any action or discussion on an agenda item occurs."

“Ms. Hargrave has been a dedicated public servant, educating our State's youth and even earning Middle School Teacher of the Year Honors for her efforts. Her voice and the voices of her fellow teachers, who have not received a pay increase in many years despite growing class sizes, should have absolutely been heard."

“I applaud Judge Smith for remedying this injustice, including assurance the Board will abide by the laws and policies related to public comment at future meetings. And I pledge to continue diligent enforcement of our Open Meetings Law."

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