The Vermilion Parish School Board has decided to place Superintendent Jerome Puyau on administrative leave effective immediately.
This comes after board brought a list of concerns about his leadership.
– Does not observe principals
– Assigns performance evaluation without hands on operations of the principals
– Doesn’t go into classrooms frequently
– Based evaluation upon evidence obtained by assigned designees
– Took leave from his position on August 3, 2018 without notifying anyone
– Requested 4 years ago a strategic plan of action focused on future construction and maintenance and continued use of health insurance funds for other projects
– His attitude”I’m the boss and I make all of the decisions”
– He is CEO not instructional leader
– Micromanager: Over rules decisions made by others
– Vindictive: Employees are scared to voice their opinions and positions because of repercussions
– Morale: Low level trust and belief in Mr. Puyau’s leadership and decision making skills
– Erratic behavior and sudden mood changes: Yells at and belittles employees
– Refused free school security from the city of Abbeville and equipment
– Public behavior and comments after school board meetings: Banging hands on desk, disrespectful body language
– Rene Rost: Two door entry promised but never instituted
– Indian Bayou Elementary: Principal and secretary situation. Assistant principal transfers.
– Abusive behavior towards numerous persons within the Vermilion Parish system
– Investigation of involuntary transfers of the east side of the parish and the toil it’s taking on the employees at two schools to protect specific people and or employees
– Investigation of contract employees hired without board knowledge. Contract Wellness Position to Business Secretary
– Investigation of verbal attack against a parent in the parking lot after a meeting
– Investigation of insubordination of overruling the board’s decision on hiring
– Inappropriate usage of technology on school campuses at Herod Elementary
– Handling of Indian Bayou situation that has created conflict and strife for teachers in the community
– Allowing individuals to attend work with spouses which is a violation of policy
– Investigation on zone line policy, list of students waive red to cross lines
– Investigation into superintendent’s failure to comply ACT 538 by refusing to bring job description to the board for review before opening position such as Maintenance Facilities Coordinator, Legal Risk Manager, Supervisor Special Education and any promotional contracts
– Denial to provide information and public records to board members when requested
– Continued denial of info after he was sent letter from District Attorney
– Charging school board members to pay for information
– Intimidation of Vermilion Association of Educators officers and members over email, letters and denial of agenda items as a result
– Violated statutory law two times with the hiring of an attorney
Board president Stacy Landry admitted that he doesn’t buy most of the concerns.
However, he still voted for placing the superintendent on leave because Puyau hired legal counsel to represent the board without consulting them.
“It can’t get to the point where the board president has no say so in the system whatsoever. I’m supposed to be the voice of these other 7 members and right now that is taken.” said Landry.
A few teachers came out in support of Puyau arguing that isn’t the type of person the board say he is while others felt the board’s concerns were justified.
“Standing in the hall listening to what was read, I have a very different experience of my time in this parish.” said one teacher.
“I mean we have kids at my school that are struggling. They need these things but its like what more can I do whenever I go to my coordinator, she goes to who she is supposed to go to and nothing comes out of it.” said another.
In response to being placed on leave, the superintendent called it embarrassing.
“I was threatened by school board members. That will come out through the investigation also. Like they say, I will follow our laws and our policies, but these people do also. It’s a shame that I have to do this in public so yall can hear the truth about what happened.” said Puyau.
Although Puyau is placed on leave with pay, he cant go on any school grounds in Vermilion Parish until the investigation is complete but no one has been named to carry out that investigation.
Assistant Superintendent Paul Hebert, will serve as the interim until the board reconvenes next week.