Mad mom: School awards ceremony featured swearing, sex toys
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (KOMO) -- A Bellingham High School drama teacher has issued a formal apology after her awards ceremony devolved into an evening of profanity, jokes about a priest having sex with kids, and a box of sex toys.
A parent attended the ceremony in the school auditorium with her 17-year-old daughter, who was nominated for an award. Both want to remain anonymous until after graduation on June 6.
The teacher is Teri Grimes, a veteran of three decades who is slated to retire after this year.
In an email to KOMO News, the upset mother complained about the teacher's use of profanity during the ceremony. She said Grimes repeatedly used inappropriate words and told a distasteful joke.
"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 plane was going down and the teacher says we have to save the children. The attorney says "F*** the children!" and the priest says "OOOOH..Do we have time for that???" the email reads.
The parent, who brought her young daughter to the ceremony, decided to leave after hearing the joke.
In addition to what she considered to be offensive language and the off-color joke, the parent said the awards handed out during the ceremony weren't appropriate for children. She said one of the categories was for "the horniest stud," where the award was a sex toy.
"WE need to get the word out there that THIS is the kind of TRASH that is being taught in our schools. I am so shocked right now I am in tears," the parent said in her email to KOMO.
On Tuesday, Grimes addressed the issue in a written statement.
"I deeply apologize for some very inappropriate comments and actions made during our drama students' end-of-the-year awards ceremony. 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," the statement reads.
The district says the school principal held a meeting with drama students and Grimes that was very productive. A spokesperson says everybody involved expressed sincere apologies and regret.
Neither Grimes nor the students face any discipline at this time. However, district officials are still evaluating the incident.
The mother who brought the complaint says she's satisfied with how the district has dealt with the matter. She believes it will help ensure student award ceremonies never go down that road again.
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