InflationOk300 OP t1_iws0gxi wrote

DENHAM SPRINGS - A teacher at a Livingston Parish school was taken into custody on campus as students were being dismissed Thursday afternoon.

Law enforcement showed up at Denham Springs Freshman High at some point Thursday and took the teacher, 23-year-old Kayla Callicott, away in handcuffs. Witness said she was arrested shortly after classes let out for the day but reported seeing police activity around the campus hours earlier.

The allegations include claims that Callicott gave one child a vape pen and a cell phone. A separate incident reportedly involved her sending inappropriate messages to another. She was booked on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and indecent behavior with a juvenile.

The Denham Springs Police Department said it received the initial complaint, but the case was handed over to the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office.

WBRZ spent hours asking law enforcement and school officials for information on the case. Those requests were ignored for hours by the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office and the school district. 

The sheriff's office and the school system acknowledged the arrest in statements released just minutes apart after WBRZ reported on the incident. A schools spokesperson said in a statement that Callicott had resigned. 

"An employee of Livingston Parish Public Schools has resigned today as the result of an investigation into allegations of inappropriate action and violation of the district’s electronic communication policy.

Livingston Parish Public School officials became aware of the investigation this morning and met with the employee, at which time the resignation was rendered and accepted. All information related to the matter was forwarded to appropriate law enforcement authorities at that time. The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office announced this afternoon the arrest and booking of 23-year-old teacher Kayla Callicott as a result of today’s investigation.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office will continue to handle the investigation. All questions concerning the investigation should be directed to the office’s investigation division at 225-326-6100.

Livingston Parish Public Schools is committed to the safety and security of all students and employees and is committed to working with the proper authorities as needed through the course of this investigation."


InflationOk300 OP t1_iwpzbhc wrote

BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards signed an apology to Denver Smith and Leonard Brown who were shot and killed during a protest 50 years ago on the Southern University campus. 

Southern students were protesting for better funding for their school when the protest turned deadly and Smith and Brown were shot. 

"It's never too late to do the right thing. It certainly doesn't make up for it, but it is the best we can do as a state," Edwards said. 

Wednesday night, many gathered at the Old Capital to remember what happened to Smith and Brown. 

All these years later, nobody knows who killed the two men. Christopher Drew is a professor at LSU and has been investigating the killing with his students. 

"A shot came from a group of deputies, but nobody could ever figure out who the deputy was that fired the shot," Drew said. 

In attendance was Denver Terrance, the nephew of Denver Smith. 

He says Wednesday was an emotional day for his family, and he is still trying to find out who killed his uncle. 

"Recognizing what happened, someone taking accountability is important," Terrance said. "It's still a lot of loose ends and there is still work that needs to be done to get justice for Denver Smith and our family."

The Governor says even with the apology, there is no way to replace the loss of Smith and Brown. 

Terrance says that his family is still appreciative of it. 

"There's no way to fully recover the damage that has been done," Terrance said. "But I think it would be a good gesture."

John Bel Edwards hopes this apology will be an opportunity for everyone to remember what happened, so it doesn't happen again. 

"This is trying to do what we can to remember what happened, to apologize for it, but most important to make sure we never go back to it, that this is a chapter in our past," Edwards said. 


InflationOk300 OP t1_iwnfynv wrote

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice is pleading with the state's judges to allow some young inmates out of jail, saying the agency does not have enough beds to sustain any more teen offenders.

The letter penned last week by William Sommers, the head of OJJ, says long stays for some of those inmates and a riot that "completely destroyed" a dorm at one facility in Monroe has pushed the agency to its limit when it comes to housing those troubled juveniles. 

OJJ says it plans to start filing motions requesting releases for some inmates whom the agency believes can be "safely reintegrated" back into the community. 

"We are asking your consideration to grant these motions as there is no other way to remove youth from the local detention centers pending placement unless we first safely release those youth who qualify for community based rehabilitation services," the letter read. 

The head of the agency added that OJJ should be able to better meet current needs once the state repairs the destroyed 36-bed dormitory at Swanson Monroe and opens its new 72-bed unit at that same facility. 

WBRZ has reached out to OJJ for more information on the request.

The plea comes as Louisiana has struggled for more than a year to safely operate its juvenile detention centers. The problem had gotten so bad that the state announced earlier this year a plan to temporarily move some teens from one facility plagued by riots and frequent breakouts to a newly constructed juvenile-only wing at the Angola state prison, a controversial decision met with pushback from some activist groups.

As of November, no juvenile offenders have been moved to Angola.