By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com February 01 2013 8:26 PM ET
UPDATE (February 5): Alabama high school football coach Bob Grisham was suspended Monday afternoon. Grisham, a psychology and driver's education teacher, will also have to attend mandatory sensitivity classes and meet with the assistant superintendent once a month. He will also be removed from teaching his psychology class, reports WAFF News.
Original Story: A teacher and football coach at a high school on Alabama’s Gulf Coast is under investigation after being tape-recorded making antigay comments and disparaging first lady Michelle Obama.
“I don’t believe in queers,” Lauderdale County High School head football coach Bob Grisham says on the tape, reportedly recorded Monday, according to the Times Daily of Florence, Ala. “I don’t like queers. … 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.”
He made the comments in the presence of students, the paper reports, noting that the recorded remarks begin with him asking the students who was responsible for them receiving 600-calorie school lunches. He then says, “Fat butt Michelle Obama.”
He also says the United States “is going in the wrong direction” and then tells the students, “Y’all can get pissed off at me or not. You can go tell the principal, you can call the superintendent and tell her.” Apparently, someone did.
Superintendent Jennifer Gray said a link to the recording was emailed to her, and she and school board attorney James Irby told the Times Daily the matter will be investigated thoroughly. Regarding disciplinary options, Irby said, “The board’s range is to recommend doing nothing to termination. And, of course, they have everything in between, such as suspension with or without pay or merely a warning.”
Grisham told the Times Daily Wednesday that he “misspoke in a debate-type situation,” adding, “I have no hatred toward anyone or any group. People that know my heart, they know that.” In addition to coaching football, Grisham teaches driver’s education and psychology at the high school.
Listen to the recording below.