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Ricks orders Stilley to reinstate Rusty Barrilleaux at PJHS

Ricks orders Stilley to reinstate Rusty Barrilleaux at PJHS

Author: Action News 17/Monday, July 1, 2019/Categories: Front Page, Latest Stories

AMITE—Judge Brenda Bedsole Ricks has ruled in favor of a Ponchatoula Jr. High teacher who sought reinstatement to his post after he was dismissed for his actions breaking up a fight between students that was captured on video and posted to social media.

In her “reasons for judgement” which were filed Sunday, Ricks determined that School Superintendent Melissa Stilley’s April 30 termination of teacher Arthur R. “Rusty” Barrrilleaux was “arbitrary and capricious because there was no substantial evidence to support her ruling….”

Barrilleaux and another PJHS teacher were terminated April 30 after a month-long district investigation into the teachers' handling of a fight on campus at the end of March. A portion of the aftermath of the fight and the teachers' attempts to restrain one of the students was videotaped and shown on social media.

Under the terms of Ricks’ ruling, Barrilleaux “is to be ‘made whole,” meaning he must be reinstated to his pre-termination post retroactive to May 1. Ricks ruled he is to be “fully and completely compensated for any loss of time, salary, and any and all other emoluments of his position.” He will be reimbursed for any COBRA health benefits paid between his termination date and his reinstatement, and all legal costs.

Details of the ruling will be available later this evening on

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