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Lafourche school board member accused of shoving, hitting student

LOCKPORT, LA (WVUE) -

A Lafourche Parish School Board member is accused of pushing and hitting a student at a Central Lafourche High School band event.

The student's mother, who didn't want to be identified in order to protect her son, says he was at the event where board member Clyde "Joey" Duplantis was chaperoning.

According to police reports, students were playing dodgeball against parents. That's when the boy said Duplantis grabbed him by the neck and shirt, shoved him against a wall, hit him with a ball, and cursed at him.

"You hear of children having altercations, but when he said a chaperone had done this to him - my first reaction was 'No,'" said the mother.

The police report shows that witnesses told detective they saw Duplantis grab the boy by the throat and "began hitting him with the ball."

Duplantis was later arrested and cited for simple battery. Deputies say he told them he was trying to explain the game rules to the student and admitted he put a hand on the teenager's chest.

"My son is small in stature, he's 4'1'' 70 pounds," said the student's mom. "This guy is twice his size. To pin him up by his throat against the wall and shout vulgarities at him. And to then have it someone who is a representative of our school system.. I can't conceive it."

We tried to reach Duplantis, but he did not return our calls.

The Lafourche Parish schools say they are investigating and have been cooperating with the police.

A letter from the school attorney to the superintendent says the school never had problems with Duplantis in the past, but he is now prohibited from chaperoning or associating with the band.

As for his board member position, the district says Duplantis is a publicly elected official and they have no control over that.

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