Two protesters arrested at the Chambers County School board meeting for signs

Published 7:02 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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Two protesters were arrested during the Chambers County School board meeting for refusing to leave signage outside of the room where the board meeting was taking place. 

Valley police officers escorted Tytianna Smith, 24, and Yolanda Ratchford, 45, out of the Langdale Auditorium in handcuffs on Wednesday night. VPD Chief Mike Reynolds told the VTN that officers told the protesters that they needed to remove the signs or leave the meeting. 

According to Reynolds, the individuals refused to leave and were then arrested for disorderly conduct for disrupting a lawful meeting. Reynolds said the protesters were breaking a rule made by the CCSD which bans the use of signage within the board room during board meetings.

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The CCSD began enforcing the rule at the start of last month’s meeting. The school board for Wednesday’s meeting included a notice with the listed rules of conduct in an email along with the meeting’s agenda. The Wednesday board meeting took place at Langdale Auditorium in Valley because the board was recognizing the Teacher of the Year nominees. According to Reynolds, an individual in attendance had a sign supporting a Teacher of the Year recipient and was also told to keep the sign out of the building.

CCSD Superintendent Casey Chambley told the VTN after the October meeting that the rule was part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the school board signed alongside LaFayette Mayor Kenneth Vines, establishing restrictions that the LaFayette Police Department would enforce. 

The school board meetings usually take place within the LaFayette police jurisdiction.