This statement was made during the first meeting with all of the members of the newly elected school board, after November’s election. You can read a recap of the entire December 12, 2022 School Board Meeting here.
At the end of the meeting, Board Members were invited to give statements. Ronnie Grigg’s was the longest by a mile, and he covered a variety of topics. You can listen to Mr. Grigg’s words for yourself in the broadcast hosted on the School Board site. Below is the transcribed version you you can read for full effect.
“I want to thank everybody that came out and voted for me. Without you I wouldn’t be here. It’s an honor and a privilege to be sitting in this seat representing you guys as a school board member.
Course I’m Ronnie Grigg and that’s my name, but I’m sure I’m gonna be called a lot of things over the next 4 years, and it’s okay cause I have a tough skin. I’m not in this to make friends. Some people got into it, they make a lot of friends, that’s not what I’m here to do. I’m here to do what Cleveland County voters asked me to do. And that’s work for the school system and help get things where they need to be.
When I started this a year ago, I never thought I’d be subjected to all the things I was by my own political party, and even some of the school board and the administration. During the past year I’ve received texts, calls and emails from teachers, staff and parents stating that retaliation was one of the reasons they don’t come to these board meetings.
I experienced that during my campaign, so I know that it happens. When I started working on the nutritional program, trying to get people involved in it, there were a lot of jokes made by some of this board and the administration. But I weathered it, and I got through it, just like I did in the primaries when it was implied that I was not a Christian or a true conservative.
So looking up articles and policies, Code 7232 that happens to be about discrimination and harassment, which happens to be on the books in Cleveland County Schools. And it says you gotta file a complaint and send it to the administration. Now in a lot of cases, sending it to the administration is sending it to the very people that have been accused of harassment and retaliation. And we can’t do that with people that are voicing their first amendment right. Cause that’s just wrong and it’s gonna stop.
I put in a call to the state policy committee representative about this policy and I’m asking him to help with updates on it, so that schools in the state of North Carolina, if they’re fount to continue to retaliate against teachers, parents, and staff, that there’s gonna be some disciplinary action to them. The buck’s gotta stop here.
During the 16 days that I was at the polls working, the main thing that I heard from the people was about Critical Race Theory, gender studies, and dirty books. And they wanted to know where I stand, and I stand the same place I did before: I will not put up with it in Cleveland County.
The Board’s big about committees, so I think it’s time we have one that verifies once a month, that as you say it’s not in Cleveland County, that we make sure it’s not in our school system. And that we have volunteers and staff members that go to schools and verifies this once a month and then brings the information back to the Board.
If there’s any teachers and staff that’s talking about this in class, and trying to slip in Critical Race Theory and gender studies, then they need to be disciplined for it. This is what the people of Cleveland County asked me to do. So this is what I’m asking for.
I have one more thing to say, I haven’t finished with the nutrition part of it. When I started that, it was kind of a joke with everybody that hey, we can’t do this, it’s just not possible. Well, that first grade classroom made it pretty easy for me. ‘If I keep on trying I can do better.’ So I’m gonna keep right on trying and I’m gonna keep right on pushing. The difference now is I have access to the things I need access to.
So we’re gonna see whether we can get nutrition upgrades in Cleveland County Schools and get our schools back where they need to be for our kids. You know sometimes we just have to do our job, and that’s what I plan on doing.
I’m sure that there wasn’t may of these board members that put me here, or the administration. But the people of Cleveland County put me here because they believe in what I can do, or what I plan on doing. And as a school board member I’m gonna stand up for the staff, the teachers, and all employees, and I’m gonna represent Cleveland County well. So I wanna thank you for coming out tonight and I want to thank you for all the votes, and I hope I do a good job for you. Thank you.”