Schools Superintendent Jennifer Gray said she expects school board members to meet within the next two weeks to determine if disciplinary action is warranted for a teacher who made slurs about first lady Michelle Obama and homosexuals.
Gray said the school board likely will meet in a special session before Feb. 14 regarding Lauderdale County High School head football coach Bob Grisham’s remarks which were made in front of students earlier in the week. The discussion revolved around the country’s problems as viewed by Grisham.
Gray said the investigation into the coach’s remarks is progressing. The next scheduled board meeting is Feb. 14, but Gray said the board likely will make a decision on how to proceed before that time.
Grisham’s teaching status has not been changed since the remarks were made Monday. Grisham said he misspoke in a debate-style discussion.
Gray said she has not spoken to Grisham since a brief discussion with him when she learned of the remarks. School officials said Grisham has been tending to personal business and has not been back at school this week.
A student made an audio recording of Grisham making disparaging remarks about first lady Michelle Obama and gays. He referred to the first lady at one point as “fat butt Michelle Obama,” He also refers multiple times on the 1 minute 24-second tape to his disdain of “queers.”
The student who made the tape has not been identified.
Under Alabama’s new Students First Act, the school board must be involved in any decision regarding employee discipline, including suspension or any type of leave.
Gray must make a recommendation about what disciplinary action, if any, is warranted.
Grisham has been employed by the school system since 1991 and has been head football coach at Lauderdale County High School for the past five years. His team advanced to the state semifinals this past season.
Lisa Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735.
Transcript of comments
Transcript of a recording that has led to an investigation of Lauderdale County High School teacher and head football coach Bob Grisham:
Grisham: Like those lunches – you get 600-calorie lunches – you know who’s behind that?
Different voice: Michelle Obama
Grisham: Fat butt Michelle Obama
(Giggling in background)
Grisham: And look … look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight.
Different voice: Big fat gorilla
Grisham: I’m serious. Y’all, our country is, is, is going in the wrong direction.
Different voice: It’s going straight to hell.
Grisham: You’d better be aware of it. And people running around like, oh it’ll get better, it’ll get better. No, it ain’t gone get no better until things change. I can give you example after example of that, but I don’t want to use any local names to give you examples. Things won’t get better until there’s a change in some areas and stuff. And you know what his platform was? Change. We’re gone change. We’re all … aw it’s OK …. for … and … y’all can get pissed off at me or not. You can go tell the principal, you can call the superintendent and tell her. I don’t believe in queers, I don’t like queers. I don’t … I don’t hate them as a person but what they do is wrong, it’s an abomination against God. I don’t like being around queers.