Opelousas High teacher charged for battery of student wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ hoodie

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OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — A teacher is facing a battery charge for allegedly trying to remove a piece of clothing from a student.

The ninth-grade boy was wearing a “BLACK LIVES MATTER” hoodie. Now he’s wishing the Opelousas High School teacher, Patricia Brignac, will never teach again.

The Patterson twins says they have worn their “BLACK LIVES MATTER” hoodies multiple times this year, adding an administrator told them their “BLACK LIVES MATTER” hoodies would be no issue, but to one teacher it was.

On March 4, a walk down an Opelousas High School hall became confrontational. According to the Opelousas Police Department, a teacher approached a student wearing a “BLACK LIVES MATTER” hoodie, asked him to remove it, and when he didn’t, she grabbed and pushed him toward an office.

The Patterson twins in their “BLACK LIVES MATTER” hoodies

“It all happened so fast,” the Patterson family attorney, Ronald Haley. “It was almost as if the BLM T-shirts these kids had was a bullseye, was the color red, and Patricia Brignac was the bull and charged them.”

The students say Brignac did not teach any of their classes. The parents of the twins told the school administration what happened which prompted the school to contacted the police. Patricia Brignac was charged with one count of simple battery on a student.

Haley said the twins expressed they want harsher discipline taken. First, that Brignac is fired by the school board. Secondly, her record reflects what happened, so she never teaches again.

“I find it troubling that she is a teacher at a majority black high school in Opelousas and harbors such strong feelings against “BLACK LIVES MATTER” which essentially harbors strong feelings against black people,” Haley stated.

News 10 did reach out to St. Landry Parish School District about Brignac’s actions. The superintendent’s office informed us Brignac is on paid administrative leave, but since it is a personnel matter, the district can’t say anything more until the legal process ends.

Brignac was issued a summons to appear before a judge on the battery charge. Haley added Brignac has been an educator for over a decade and called the thought that she has worked with impressionable youth so long with such a strong opinion “troubling” and “sickening.”

“The idea that “BLACK LIVES MATTER” is political speech is false and wrong,” Haley said. “BLACK LIVES MATTER” is a human rights issue.”

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