|Lauderdale County High |
School teacher Bob Grisham.
Enter Bob Grisham, an Alabama teacher and Lauderdale County High School's head football coach. His teaching time recently devolved into a rant against the school's 600-calorie lunch and its promotion of health. He pinned the blame on "fat butt Michelle Obama," drawing laughs as a student called the First Lady of the United States a "big fat gorilla."
Grisham, speaking with the sort of self-assured podunk drawal that only a high school coach who should've never been placed in a classroom can muster, went on to say, "I'm serious, y'all, our country is, is going in the wrong direction."
In an apparent reference to the anti-bullying, pro-gay "It Gets Better Project," Grisham was derisive: "No, it ain't gone get no better until things change." Then, after warning the students that, "Y'all can get pissed at me or not," Grisham finally let out the homophobic urge that he'd been tingling with all day:
"I don't believe in queers. I don't like [queers. I don't, I don't hate them as a person [sic], but what they do is wrong, it's an abomination against God. I don't like being around queers."After those comments got out thanks to a student who was savvy enough to make an audio recording, Grisham, who has since tried to explain that, "I misspoke in a debate type situation, "Grisham was put under investigation by the school board and has conveniently been at home due to "family business" where he will likely remain for the foreseeable future.
The audio is here:
Bob Grisham has been with the school system since 1991 and he's been a coach for five years. One class he teaches is driver's ed. The other? Psychology. Yes, someone with apparently no appreciation, sensitivity or depth of knowledge for issues relating to sexuality or race is teaching your children psychology, Alabama. Having had quite a few coaches "teach" me in high school, I'll never understand and I'll forever remain baffled as to why schools insist on forcing football and baseball coaches to teach classrooms. I had one coach who actually us well and who actually did have a degree of intelligence, and that was it. Save for one year, my high school history education was rendered almost completely useless because of administrative decisions to install uneducated, disinterested, balls-on-the-brain coaches in those positions.
These coaches spoke a lot like Grisham, their every word revealing an obvious lack of intellectual curiosity and a probable absence of any awareness as to the existence of such a thing. Not shockingly, they were always conservative, too, and they never had a problem letting us know. One coach spent day after day reminding the black students that "the Republicans freed the slaves," expressed weekly his fear that Hillary Clinton would become president in 2008 (if he only knew), praised George W. Bush endlessly, and even spent time trying to convince us that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a bad person because he cheated on his wife.
(As I understand it, that coach, who was married, was later fired from a job at another school because of accusations that he may have impregnated a teenage girl. Go figure.)
Bob Grisham, aside from being a homophobic jerk who tolerates and encourages the expression of racist sentiments, is just a representative of the sort of "teacher" that is being allowed to hold positions of authority in schools all throughout our country. Next time you see a Bob Grisham teaching at your local high school, just ask yourself, "Is our children learning?"