Alabama Teacher Used Racist and Anti-Gay Language to Students

Bob Grisham
Bob Grisham

Lauderdale County (Alabama) High School officials are investigating remarks made by a teacher that contained homophobic and racist language. The remarks – caught on audio by a student and reported to the administration – highlight the teacher’s disregard for Michelle Obama as well as the LGBT community. According to their local news source Times Daily, the administration has said:

Superintendent Jennifer Gray confirmed the investigation concerns the school’s head football coach, Bob Grisham, who also teaches driver’s education and psychology. The investigation includes a 1-minute, 24-second audiotape of Grisham asking who knows who is behind the 600-calorie school lunch. 

“Fat butt Michelle Obama,” he said. “Look at her. She looks like she weighs 185 or 190. She’s overweight.” 

Male voices interject comments during the discussion, at one point referring to Michelle Obama as a “fat gorilla.” 

Later in the tape, Grisham referred to the U.S. as going in the “wrong direction” and tells the students they can “get pissed off at me or not. You can go tell the principal, call the superintendent and tell her. I don’t believe in queers. I don’t like queers, I don’t hate them as a person, but what they do is wrong and an abomination against God.” 

The tape was reportedly recorded by a student Monday and took place on school campus during the school day. Grisham told the TimesDaily on Wednesday afternoon he misspoke. “I misspoke in a debate-type situation,” he said. “I have no hatred toward anyone or any group. People that know my heart, they know that.” 

Gray said a link to the audio recording was sent to her in an email. “It’s an unfortunate situation, and we hope to clear this up as soon as possible,” Gray said. No action has been taken against Grisham by the district’s administration or the school board. He was not at school Wednesday, and Gray said he has family obligations that were expected to keep him out of school the rest of the week. “Before we do anything, we’ll investigate this thoroughly and gather information from other people,” Gray said. “Whatever we do in response to this situation will be dictated by board policy.”

Like most bigots caught espousing hate, Grisham only appears to be sorry that he didn’t check for audio recording devices before going off on his racist, anti-gay rant. Here’s the audio inb question that the student recorded:

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.


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