BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A mother in Washington says that she is ‘shocked’ and ‘in tears’ after attending a profanity-laced and sexually-charged awards ceremony at her daughter’s local high school.
The unidentified mother told local television station KOMO that she eventually walked out of the event held on Sunday at Bellingham High School. She states that was outraged that the program was filled with profanity, filthy jokes and inappropriate awards during the ceremony, overseen by teacher Teri Grimes, 62.
“I sat there with my mouth open in shock, and the final straw was when a joke was told on stage about a teacher, a lawyer and a priest on a plane,” the mother wrote in an email to the outlet. “The plane was going down and the teacher says we have to save the children. The attorney says ‘F*** the children!’ and the priest says ‘Oooh … Do we have time for that?’”
She also stated that some of the awards were inappropriate, such as “the horniest stud” and “the horniest girl.” One prize was a box of condoms.
“We need to get the word out there that this is the kind of trash that is being taught in our schools,” the mother, who wishes to keep her identity secret until after graduation on Friday, said. “I am so shocked right now I am in tears.”
Grimes, who is retiring after this year, is now under investigation by the district and attended a meeting with the Bellingham High School Principal Jeff Vaughn, as well as her drama students.
“I wanted to let you know that [school officials] have met with our drama club adviser and students,” Vaughn said in a statement. “This has generated media coverage and has been a learning opportunity for our teens regarding the harm that can come from offensive comments and jokes.”
But an individual only identified as “Team Teri” claims that while Grimes has been the focus of the outrage in the majority of reports, it was the students on stage who were responsible for the inappropriate content.
“The inappropriate joke was made by a student (which tends to happen when you hand a high school student a microphone) and the … condoms [were] bought by students, given to students,” they stated. “Teri Grimes had no part in those acts…”
Grimes issued an apology on Tuesday, acknowledging that the content of the ceremony was out-of-line.
“I deeply apologize for some very inappropriate comments and actions made during our drama students’ end-of-the-year awards ceremony,” Grimes said. “This is not representative of our students who take such great pride in their school and respect one another. Much of the evening was a great celebration of their work. However, as a teacher and the club’s leader, I take full responsibility and am extremely sorry.”
“Team Teri” says that the apology was “to protect [Grimes’] students and take responsibility for the lack of control at the awards show.”
“Perhaps the parents of today’s children should be held responsible for their utter lack of parenting instead of the teacher,” they stated.
But some state that had Grimes not been retiring, she should have been fired. Others note that Grimes’ story is indicative of the continual degradation of morals in society—including in public schools.
“More than anything this is a comment on our culture; don’t be surprised,” one commenter wrote. “This is how we talk on TV and in the privacy of our homes, on the streets. This is everywhere. This is America. Raunchy and tasteless. It is what it is. Don’t be so shocked.”