Remarks to board lead to dismissal
By Marsha Sills
April 02, 2013
LAFAYETTE — A University of Louisiana at Lafayette student’s frank and profanity-laced comments about discipline problems at Carencro High School have led to the end of his student-teaching service there.
Student-teacher Derrick Comeaux, 31, said Carencro High Principal Ken Roebuck and a school resource officer escorted him off campus on Thursday, a day after he told the Lafayette Parish School Board about discipline problems at the school where he student-teaches without naming it.
“This is ridiculous. This is not right what they’ve done to me,” Comeaux said Thursday.
Roebuck referred questions about Thursday’s incident to Lafayette Parish schools Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau.
She confirmed that Comeaux’s comments at Wednesday’s board meeting led to the end of his student-teaching service at Carencro High.
Billeaudeau said Comeaux’s use of profanity was “unprofessional” and he did not follow protocol in addressing his concerns with his supervising teacher or administrators.
“We understand that there’s a discipline issue in our district, and we’re working to correct that,” Billeaudeau said.
During the board meeting, Comeaux repeatedly used profanity to quote students’ language and said sending disruptive students to the office was ineffective.
He also said the school’s administrators did not address a student’s physical threats against him until he said he would call an attorney and get a restraining order against the student.
Comeaux is not alone in his frustrations and Billeaudeau said she has discussed similar issues with other teachers, but in those conversations, “there is an amount of professional decorum.”
“We have to be mindful and model positive behavior for our children – no matter what,” she said.
“I’m sure he felt very compelled to do so …but at the same time there is a level of decorum and professionalism that we have to be mindful of and in modeling our behavior in an appropriate manner.”
She said she did not witness the incident Thursday, but was told by Roebuck that there was “difficulty” with the student-teacher when he attempted to discuss his behavior at the board meeting.
“So, the young man had to be escorted off campus by the SRO officers,” Billeaudeau said.
Comeaux said Thursday that Roebuck did not give him a reason for his removal from campus.
“I asked him and he told me he did not owe me an explanation,” Comeaux said.
Comeaux, who will graduate in May, said the situation leaves him “in limbo.” He said he is awaiting word from his adviser about a new student-teaching assignment.