A new, smaller, Moore County Board of Education voted to reinstate the contract of Dr. Bob Grimesey tonight during its board meeting at Union Pines High School.

The vote brought to a dramatic conclusion a swift moving story that has captured statewide attention in recent days.

"We made history in a lot of ways," board member Charles Lambert said.

The board voted 4-1, with board member Laura Lang casting the lone dissenting vote, to bring Grimesey back and reinstate his contract with a couple of amendments. 

Chief among the amendments is the elimination of the "unilateral termination clause," by which the board removed him last Thursday morning.

Following the vote, Board member Becky Carlson, who had voted with a 5-3 majority on Thursday to fire Grimesey, handed in her resignation letter effective Sunday at noon. 

Her letter brings to four the number of school board members who have resigned since Thursday's vote. All four voted to terminate Grimesey.

Members Sue Black, Kathy Farren and Ben Cameron resigned Saturday.

Lang, who cast the other vote to fire Grimesey, has steadfastly said she will not resign.

0610 GrimesyWins SDC

SARA CORCE/The Pilot School board member Laura Lang stays in her seat during the Monday night session of the Moore County School Board meeting at Union Pines High School on Monday, June 8, 2015 in Carthage.

After a closed session, Lambert made the motion to reinstate Grimesey. Ed Dennison seconded the motion and the board voted 4-1. Lambert, Dennison and board Chairman Bruce Cunningham voted against firing Grimesey last Thursday.

Following the resignation of interim superintendent Larry Upchurch, Grimesey gave his superintendent's report. 

"As it has for the past six days, Moore County stands together as one, not for a man but for its own ideals and principles," he said.

Grimesey thanked everyone for the support, and he offered his admiration for setting aside all differences to show what is is to be the "finest community in all America." He ended his report with an emphatic statement.

"This is the superintendent's report, and I am again at your service," he said.

Vacant positions will be filled in a deliberate and considerate matter, Cunningham said. He said Moore County commissioners will be consulted as the two boards are "working together."

Cunningham encouraged those interested in being a board member to contact him via his email address on the Moore County Schools' website.

Nick Picerno, chairman of the Moore County Board of Commissioners, released the following statement in response to the school board's vote to reinstate Grimesey:

I'm very appreciative of the action and I'm sure it will allow our community to heal very quickly. I would like to thank Board Member Becky Carlson for having the courage to change her vote in response to the overwhelming support by our community to reinstate Dr. Bob as the superintendent.

"I want to also publicly thank Dr. Larry Upchurch for the way in which he handled this entire event. For those who did not attend the meeting he agreed to forgo any compensation for his service. He is a class act, thank you Dr. Upchurch!!!"

Picerno said that as a result of the board's action, a special called meeting of the county commissioners on Wednesday will be cancelled. He said discussion on the recall election issue and the budget will be added to the agenda for the board's next regular meeting on Tuesday, June 16, at 5:30 p.m.


Original story:

The Moore County Board of Education will meet this evening at which time a newly constituted board could consider reinstating fired Superintendent Robert Grimesey.

Three of the eight-member board — Sue Black, Ben Cameron and Kathy Farren — resigned Saturday afternoon following their vote Thursday morning to terminate the first-year superintendent’s contract and buy it out for $165,500. Two other board members who concurred in the 5-3 vote — Becky Carlson and Laura Lang — remain on the board.

Board Chairman Bruce Cunningham and members Ed Dennison and Charles Lambert opposed Grimesey’s termination.

At least one Central Office staffer has resigned following the fall-out. Catherine McRae, who had been clerk to the board, resigned Monday. She had retired previously but was rehired to the position. Further resignations could be coming later this week.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a closed executive session and a public session that begins at 6:30 p.m. The location was moved from the school system’s central office to the Union Pines Auditorium in Carthage to accommodate what is expected to be a large crowd.

On Saturday, interim Superintendent Larry Upchurch said a personnel issue was being added to the beginning of the meeting. He declined comment when asked if that item would involve a motion to reinstate Grimesey.

“We’re trying to work through the various legal pieces,” Upchurch said.

Carlson returned a call and said, "I want to comment, but I can't. There's a lot of stuff going on. I can't say anything."

Even after Saturday’s resignation, Moore County citizens, parents and schools staffers kept up pressure for Carlson and Lang to resign. A petition on Change.org seeking resignations of all five plus Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Design and Innovation Kathy Kennedy had surpassed its 5,000-signature goal by mid-morning.

“As a former employee of Moore county schools, the reign of bullying must end,” wrote Savannah Rogers on the petition. “I sign this petition for all my students and my friends still in the system.”

“Dr. Bob Grimesey is the most wonderful superintendent MCS has ever had,” wrote Deborah Marley of Robbins. “The 5 BOE members and Kathy Kennedy need to go!”

Black, Cameron and Farren resigned in separate letters to Upchurch. Farren sent an email to Board Chairman Bruce Cunningham at 2:51 p.m. with her resignation. Cunningham got an email from Cameron at 2:56 p.m. with his resignation. Black’s resignation came in by email to Upchurch at 3:38 p.m.

“I have served honorably for 18 years,” Black wrote in her letter. “I wish the children the very best in the years to come. There are many needs for education and much work that needs to be done and I would not wish to stand in the way.”

Said Cameron: “Over the course of time, I believe that the vote I made on Thursday will be revealed to have been the right decision for Moore County Schools. While recognizing that the majority of the community has not spoken out against the vote I made in good conscience last Thursday, I am concerned at the disruptive public behavior that is negatively impacting the Board of Education’s activities. The business of the Board of Education and Moore County Schools is more important than my personal service.”

Said Farren: “Many of Moore County’s citizens have asked me to rescind the decision I made last Thursday or to resign. Because I still stand by the decision I made, which was informed by information that is protected by strict confidentiality laws, I will not rescind the vote I made in service to Moore County Schools and our community. To return the community’s focus to the education and success of Moore County Schools and its students, including the upcoming joyous occasion of graduation, I have chosen to resign my position, effective immediately, on the Moore County Board of Education.”

“I appreciate their years of service on the board and believe that their actions are motivated by a genuine desire to best serve the educational interests of Moore County students,” Cunningham said of the resigning members.

Events have moved swiftly ever since Monday evening, when Grimesey was called into a closed executive session, ostensibly for his first performance review, and told either to resign or be fired.

The official vote to fire Grimesey came Thursday morning, with Black, Cameron and Farren joined by board members Becky Carlson and Laura Lang. Cunningham and members Ed Dennison and Charles Lambert opposed the firing.

Black, Cameron, Farren and Lang have not returned multiple phone calls from The Pilot since Tuesday. Board of Commissioners Chairman Nick Picerno, who had been applying pressure publicly and behind the scenes since Thursday on the school board, issued a statement after learning of Farren’s and Cameron’s resignations.

“I think that the action of Ben Cameron and Kathy Farren are in response to the overwhelming community support shown for Dr. Grimesey,” he said. “They have listened to the will of the people. I believe they have done the right thing.

“They should be thanked for their service to the community. I hope the remaining board members will reconsider their positions as well.”

The five have been besieged with phone calls, letters, emails and social media posts since Monday imploring them not to fire Grimesey and then, after Thursday’s 5-3 vote, to reinstate him. Southern Pines Town Councilman Mike Fields, who himself has been in public office the past 26 years, issued an email to the five suggesting they resign or risk damaging multiple partnerships the school system has with the community.

“Over the past few days, it has become painfully evident that all of those partnerships have been severely strained and may be on the verge of being broken permanently,” he wrote. “The faith and trust in the Board of Education has been destroyed, whether rightly or wrongly —it has happened.”

“As an elected official, I can certainly empathize with the difficult decision that they had to make,” Fields said in an interview. “I think they have made the right decision. Now, hopefully the community can begin to heal.”

State Rep. Jamie Boles, who issued an ultimatum to the five to resign by noon Monday or face a recall election in November, said he was pleased by Saturday’s turn of events. He said he would wait until after the school board’s meeting Monday evening before deciding how to proceed with special recall legislation.

“I don’t see the urgency with what I’m hearing right now,” he said.

Fallout from Thursday’s 5-3 Board of Education vote to fire Superintendent Robert Grimesey gained momentum late Friday ­afternoon when a judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the board from hiring a permanent replacement.

Boles, who represents most of Moore County, requested the temporary restraining order to ensure the bloc that ousted Grimesey does not tap anyone for the job permanently until the county can call a special election to try to recall the entire school board.

Superior Court Judge James Webb signed the injunction at 4:21 p.m. Friday and assigned a 2 p.m. court hearing on Monday, June 15, to consider the matter further.

In a statement issued Friday evening, Boles said, “I have never seen the continuity and unity of Democrats, Republicans, NAACP, PTA, students, teachers, conservatives and liberals alike as I have seen with the unified condemnation of the process in which our superintendent, Dr. Grimesey, was fired.

“I felt obligated … to restrict and limit the powers of the present board until proper ­legislation is passed to establish a fair process in which elected officials can be held accountable.”

Boles called on the five school board ­members — Black, Cameron, Carlson, Farren and Lang — to resign by noon Monday or he would seek ­legislation in the General Assembly that would allow for a recall election this November. That election would allow citizens to recall the entire board, after which the Board of Commissioners would appoint an interim slate.

If all five resigned by his deadline, Boles said, he would not move forward with the recall. But if just one or two resign, he said the legislation would proceed. State Sen. Jerry Tillman, whose district includes Moore County, said he would aid the legislation’s passage.

Boles’ legal action, filed by local attorney Tom Van Camp, was meant to prevent the school board from quickly hiring a permanent replacement and awarding them a lucrative contract that would be expensive to break, should a future board seek to remove that superintendent.

The legal filing specifically calls out Kathy Kennedy, the school system’s assistant superintendent for instructional design and innovation, as a favored candidate for the job.

“Upon information and belief, the actions of Farren, Lang, Cameron, Carlson and Black were motivated by personal animosity toward Dr. Grimesey and personal favoritism and affiliation with Kathy Kennedy, assistant superintendent, who upon information and belief, sought the job of Moore County superintendent when it became available.”

Kennedy, who lives in Fayetteville, did not return messages left for her.

Cunningham said he would submit to the process “without complaint.”

“I will respect both an order from a judge and the will of the people expressed in any election, a recall or otherwise,“ he said adding that he could not express his opinion on the restraining order itself.

“Since I have not had an opportunity to confer with the board attorney, it would be premature on my part to make a comment on the injunction at this time,“ he said.

The temporary restraining order and threat of recall legislation are on top of what has been a sustained effort by virtually all quadrants of Moore County to show their support for Grimesey following Thursday’s vote. Students and faculty at schools across the county wore black on Friday in a display of solidarity for Grimesey and opposition to the five-member bloc of board members.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have streamed an almost constant flow of postings, comments, pictures and memes from those angry at Grimesey’s ouster. Twitter hashtags such as #SupportGrimesey, #Moore4Bob and #LoveDrBob trended locally. Parents printed up car magnets and bumper stickers with supportive displays. At least one local business, Living on the Bliss, in downtown Southern Pines, printed up black T-shirts Friday with white lettering that said “#SupportGrimesey.” They sold for $12 apiece, and the store was selling them as fast as they printed them.

The Moore County NAACP issued a statement in support of Grimesey.

“Dr. Grimesey has demonstrated a penchant for engaging the community and for being sensitive to the needs of under-served segments within the school system,” wrote organization President O’Linda D. Watkins. “He has created a committee to work on closing the minority gap (and) to understand and seek solutions to the problem of African-American students being suspended more and disciplined more harshly than other students in the schools.”

Also in the 48 hours since Thursday’s vote, the Board of Commissioners scheduled a special meeting for this coming Wednesday at which commissioners might reduce the school board’s savings account, known as its fund balance. That account holds about $4.7 million, and commissioners say they might transfer that money to a holding account for future school construction projects, taking it away from the school board to spend as it wishes.

In addition, the school board decided on Friday to move the location of its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday. The board ­normally meets at the central office headquarters in a room that can hold 130. But after more than 400 turned up for its meeting Thursday morning, forcing the board and its audience to relocate to the historic Moore County courthouse, the board has moved its Monday evening meeting to the Union Pines High School Auditorium, 1981 Union Church Road, in Carthage. That meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and will allow time for public comment.

Board members are certain to hear from residents concerning Thursday’s decision to fire Grimesey. At that meeting, Lang made the motion to exercise the “unilateral termination clause” in Grimesey’s contract, which was seconded by Cameron. The five who voted to terminate Grimesey declined to offer specific reasons for their decision, citing state personnel laws that prohibit them from speaking out. As they left the courthouse, a few of the five members were escorted to their cars by sheriff’s deputies.

The vote came after a lengthy closed session Thursday at the school system’s central office. The crowd filled the usual board meeting room, then spilled into the central hallway. Moore County Schools Police officers and county fire marshal Ken Skipper then blocked more people from coming into the building, citing capacity issues.

For a while, officials struggled with whether to remove a certain number of ­people for safety issues or move the meeting to a larger space. Sandhills Community College President John Dempsey, who sat through the entire meeting, freed up his Owens Auditorium, but the board opted instead to move to the county commissioners’ meeting room up the road at the historic Moore County courthouse.

While the school board met in closed session to discuss Grimesey’s contract and his successor, parents, teachers, activists and community leaders of all stripes directed a withering string of attacks at the coalition of board members seeking Grimesey’s ouster. Chief among the complaints was that the board scheduled the meeting so early during a weekday and during the next-to-last week of school when critical exams were being conducted.

Following the vote to buy out Grimesey for $165,500, the board voted 6-1, with one abstention from Dennison, to hire Larry Upchurch as interim superintendent. Lambert cast the sole dissenting vote.

Upchurch is a former deputy superintendent of Moore County Schools and had once been a candidate for the top post. He retired in 2011 but has signed a six-month contract.

After Thursday morning’s vote, several board members read prepared statements. Farren, the board’s vice chairwoman, said that disagreement is to be expected.

“I know that Bruce has voted his conscience, and I have voted mine, and it is in the nature of serving on a board that members sometimes disagree about important matters,” she said. “But the focus at this time needs to be on the future of the Moore County Schools and what is in the best interest of our school district – and especially our students.”

Board member Laura Lang thanked all for their support “during this difficult time.”

“I would also like to thank everyone for their emails of support to Dr. Grimesey,” she said. “I can appreciate your sentiment with the ­public image that you see. I am sorry that because I follow the laws of the state of North Carolina, I am unable to discuss personnel matters and all the issues that went into my decision today. I know it is frustrating to you, but please know that it is even more ­frustrating for me, because if I could, I am ­confident that you would agree with my choice.”

Lang’s comments were drowned out frequently by angry audience members who shouted at her.

Lang apologized to the schools’ central office staff, whom she described as “taking the heat for something that they did not ask for or deserve.”

Lang was obliquely referring to numerous comments from parents, teachers and community leaders that senior school administrators did not like Grimesey’s management style and colluded with school board members to oust the first-year superintendent.

“I hate that the assumption that people automatically jump to is that they are at fault,” she said. “I think everyone has forgotten that with their leadership last year, prior to Dr. Grimesey’s arrival, we had one of the best academic years we had had in a very long time. When the majority of a board loses trust and respect for its leader, then it is time for a change. When the majority of the public loses trust and respect for its Board of Education, then they vote them out of office.

“Please just remember, that never for one day on this body have I ever shown that I had anything other than the best interest of Moore County Schools on my mind, and today is absolutely no different.”

Board member Ed Dennison, one of three who voted against Grimesey’s termination, thanked the community for its support of “Dr. Bob.”

“In my opinion he has done an excellent job in his first year as superintendent of Moore County Schools,” Dennison said. “I say this with over 40 years of work management ­experience. A good manager (has) to ­understand the expectations of your employer and do what is necessary to meet those ­expectations. To do this you may have to make decisions that will not please everyone, but if you are the one responsible for ensuring the outcomes then it is your decision and not anyone else’s.

“As for the Moore County School Board, it is our responsibility — not just a few board members but all eight members — to establish those expectations and make sure they are understood by the superintendent. If any board member feels the superintendent is not meeting those expectations, then the board, as a whole, needs to discuss it as soon as it happens and not wait for the annual evaluation. Discussions should not be held and decisions made between individual board members. With our board, five votes are needed for approval of any measure. All board members should be involved in the decision-making process, not just five.”

Cunningham read an email from a local principal to illustrate the support that school staff felt for the fired superintendent.

“‘Our teachers feel supported and encouraged by Dr. Grimesey,’” Cunningham read. “‘When they speak to me about him, their voices are full of gratitude and joy. His visits and kind words leave them feeling appreciated, encouraged and supported. His presence in classrooms has an undeniable positive impact. I observed an immediate loss of hope and what can only be described as fear in the eyes of staff members following the article in The Pilot Tuesday.

“‘Should the board move forward with the decision to accept a letter of resignation from Dr. Grimesey, the impact on our teachers will be tremendous, and I can honestly say the light that we have worked so hard to stoke will be smothered.’”

Many in the audience booed loudly when those who supported Grimesey’s firing raised their hands to cast their votes. A number of county and municipal officials also expressed displeasure at the decision.

Former school board member Dale Frye was on the board when it hired Grimesey.

“If they want to preserve unity, for the sake of the teachers and staff of this county they need to ask Dr. Grimesey to come back, carte blanche, on his terms,” Frye said of the five board members. “They’ve been too blinded by their friendship and devotion to certain people. They need to go to Carolina Eye.”

Numerous teachers and school employees attended Thursday’s meeting, having arranged for substitutes. One was Lani Heckert, a seventh-grade teacher at Crain’s Creek, who said she had “never worked ­anywhere where I could not speak for change.”

“Dr. Grimesey was working to dissolve this culture of silence,” she said passionately to the crowd while the board was meeting in its closed session. “He was not afraid of doing a new dance, and that’s what they’re afraid of here. I am appalled at the disdain that some of these board members have for the teachers.”

While the board took the brunt of the public’s anger Thursday, there was sustained and ­thunderous applause for Grimesey when he entered the commissioners meeting room shortly before 10:30 Thursday morning. Grimesey had been asked Monday evening to clean out his office and keep a low profile ahead of Thursday’s meeting, and it was not expected that he would even show up.

Grimesey entered the building with Raleigh-based attorney Ann McColl to loud applause and cheers. After waving to his supporters and giving them a virtual “high-five,” he sat in a corner of the room and watched the proceedings. After the decision to terminate his contract was announced, Grimesey addressed the large crowd there in his support.

“To begin with, I accept the judgment of the Moore County Board of Education and respect its authority to terminate my contract,” he said. “I encourage all parties to support the new school district leadership and to refocus our attention on serving the needs of our children.”

Grimesey’s speech was punctuated by moments when he was overcome with emotion. Members of the audience could also be heard weeping as he spoke.

“A contract may be terminated, but a calling may never be denied,” he said. “I was called to serve the children, employees, families and other citizens of Moore County, and by most indications it would seem that I have fulfilled that obligation. Today my contract has been terminated, yet my calling remains intact.”

Grimesey said he will remain in the area for now. He and his wife purchased a house on Farm Life Road, and are moving in this week.

“I still don’t know what I did (to get fired),” he said, (but) let there be no mistake. If I could do it 100 times over again, I would accept ‘the call’ to serve as your superintendent of schools even if I knew today would be inevitable.

“I do not regret any of the moments we have shared during this past year. It has been my honor and my privilege.”

The board will allow public comment during two parts of the meeting Monday evening. To speak, members of the public must sign up prior to 6:15 p.m. the day of the meeting. Speakers are allowed three minutes per individual or five minutes if the individual is representing a recognized organization. The chairman will have the responsibility to determine if an item is inappropriate and to rule the speaker out of order, if necessary.

(37) comments

Denise Baker

Do we know if Moore County Schools did any business with Kathy Kennedy's private consulting company?This is a conflict of interest. Also, do the parents of Moore County kindergarteners know that Kathy Kennedy mandated removal of all toys from the classroom and made the 5 year olds watch power point presentations at the same time every day! Kennedy said, " if I walk in your classroom at such and such a time that power point better be on the screen." This is crazy. Do we know how many lead teachers and principals were brought in from Fayetteville. These are Kennedy's cronies. How did Human Resources approve this when there were many qualified applicants in Moore County and within the system. We need a clean house! No more fear. Let the teachers teach!

Mathew Purser

"I disapprove of what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

I am proud of the way we as a community have handled ourselves in the last week as a whole, minus a bit of name calling and angry tones I think we have been respectful. I do not agree with her decision but I do not think Laura Lang needs to be vilified as has been happening, she voted her conscious and I do not have to agree with her to respect her for standing by that choice in the face of overwhelming public outcry. My teachers taught me "if I didn't have anything nice to say, then to not say it," booing her vote last night as the distention in a 4-1 vote was uncalled for, pointless, and detracted from the otherwise joyous evening; there is no known legal reason she has to step down and she is not only allowed to vote anyway she pleases as a board member, we elected her to do that. I don't expect to agree with everyone I vote for all the time, that would be insane, but when I disagree I need to check myself and make sure I voice my concerns in a healthy and respectful tone. Calling her out on her grammar is stooping to a level that even my 15 year old students would frown upon; I can assure you there are grammar issues in this post and every other one on this site. The public speakers also as a whole did well to focus on solutions to problems we face instead of the problems themselves: low funding, a disconnect between teachers and the central office, excessive testing, lack of teacher assistants in younger grades, fear of reprisal if a teacher voices their opinion, these are real problems we face in our county; the fact that two speakers specifically called out individual members of the board and office staff was out of line, inexcusable, and was more akin to a roast then a public meeting. Lang is up for reelection next year, if you really want your option heard and disagree with her views, show up to vote next November, if not sooner for the recall bill. Bottom line, before I speak, I try to think "am I adding to the harmony of a situation, or the chaos?" Voicing my support or disapproval of a public office is not only my right but my duty as a registered voter, what is not my right is to demoralize and humiliate another human being or their family because they don't agree with me. We teach our children to do what we think is right and to stand by our decisions, in my opinion, all FOUR remaining board members have personified those ideals this week; when we call out Lang for voting her mind and standing by that choice we teach our children that it is acceptable to bow beat someone for disagreeing with us and that you should give up when the odds are not in your favor; the public has spoken and our voice was heard lets not be sore winners. Regardless of who is right or wrong, we should behave in a respectful manner.

I do not agree with the board's decision to fire Dr. Bob last week and my weekend consisted of preparing for administering final exams to my wonderful students and sending a flurry of emails to every public office I could find begging them to help us. Monday I was so anxious and excited for the board meeting, I couldn't wait to see what the board would do and what people would say in response; I was not disappointed. Not because I got what I wanted but because I have hope and pride in my school system and my school board for the first time, hope that we can truly be the great education system I know we can be. It will take a lot of work because this is only the beginning, those that said this was the end I serious hope not, we need this energy and support for our schools year round; not just when a crisis strikes. For the first time in my life, I know the names of all school board members, their policies, our county commissioner's names, our Rep and Sen; I am embarrassed to say it took me 25 years to be able to say that. We as citizens should be involved everyday, not just on election day, by attending board meetings, writing public officials, and staying active in the public sphere; not just when we feel like we have been wronged. I hope the energy and outcry we have generated continues to grow and helps add to the harmony of our county for our children's sake.

Kevin Lewis

Who knows? She might enlist comrades to apply for the school board. Bruce should do due diligence.

Kevin Lewis

Never underestimate a woman. Still waters run deep. She'll find a way. She will never do my taxes.

Walter B Bull

Don't worry about Laura Lang. Three beats one every time and everyone's eyes are open now. Go Moore Couty

Kevin Lewis

Laura Lang is determined to perpetuate the ineffective bureaucracy that John Zumwalt spoke about last night at the meeting. She supports the arrogant dead wood represented by Kathy Kennedy and her ilk. If I were Bob Grimesey, I would freeze her out because there is no fury like a woman scorned. She and Kennedy will stab him in the back again.

Louis Gregory

I am very pleased to see the board has reinstated an excellent and well qualified School Superintendent. With Dr. Bob Grimesey's leadership much can be accomplished for the good of our Moore County schools. It is a time to go forward - the welfare of our children and the retention of our teachers should remain a top priority.

Sharon Turner

I am speaking to the teachers of Moore Co. and will not engage in a debate about unions. In many respects I am very anti-union as they abuse their powers in many ways. However, I was delighted when the teachers brought out that Dr. Bob was probably a victim of the system of silence, bullying, and implied threat of job loss when a teacher speaks out in this county against wrongs. A situation that has worsened when tenure was discontinued by a government and public that has no understanding of how the tenure system in NC worked. Implied threat of job loss was one of the very first things I experienced in this county and I very nearly decided to leave recently because of it. Other places I have worked also had that culture. The only places that do not have that culture are systems with a strong union that acts with INTEGRITY. Unlike many places NC does not have a teachers union, we do however have the NCAE. If you want to do away with the culture of abusive administrate that is currently in place, teachers must have some power behind them that has teeth, and in the state of NC that is the NCAE.
Something I find very disconcerting in the highly orchestrated hoopla of a reinstated superintendent, is that we do not know why he was fired. We do not know why one board member is so stubbornly sticking to her guns in the face of public abuse.
Bruce Cunningham stated there was nothing illegal or immoral involved. So we are suppose to play the "Trust me" game?

Kevin Lewis

Laura Lang will be frozen out on the board. She acted very strangely at the victory meeting for Bob Grimesey and she may have some rough times ahead healthwise.

Walter B Bull

Come guys-you wiped them out and our kids won. I agree that Rep Boles should move ahead, but the important thing is helping Bruce Cunningham and Dr. Bob with the chore of finding qualified replacements for the board. You can't leave all the lifting to one or two people. I have made my suggestions to Mr Cunningham and so should you. Too many recommendations is far better than a dry well.
We have schools to build and finances to fix and the people at the top are a little thin.

Allen Wilson

Representative Boles said he would file legislation for recall by noon today, if ONE of the Gang of Five remained on the board.Four down-one to go. Where are you Mr Boles?


Let's get rid of Lang now and start fresh. I'm ready to move forward.


Kathy oh Kathy- please just leave. You have just been in the way and it's time for you to just go somewhere where both we, the people of Moore County, can be satisfied and where you can have peace in your occupation. Don't do this just because we are asking you to, do it for the sake of our children in the schools along with faculty. Please don't make this difficult. Now is the time to go.


Working for our kids is most important... But we must clean up and ship out the negativety. Our students will then blossom. MCS employees do what's best for our students...and do not have a self agenda, which is what our leaders should do as well.

Carl Danis

I think it's time to move on and begin healing. The infighting and nastiness in the school board isn't going to help our kids. I think it's time for Boles to butt out and deal with important issues in Raleigh. After all, the politicians in Raleigh whine and cry if the Federal government sticks its nose in state affairs, doesn't the same hold true for the state butting into local affairs? What's more important fighting and squabbling or working for our kids.

John Buchholz

Jamie Boles is not an outsiders.
He went attended Moore County Schools, owns a local business and is our representative in Raleigh. He still has the right to be invovled in local affairs.

Thanks Jamie!!

Barbara Brady

,"I'll die holding my breath waiting for that to happen."

Promises, promises!

Just wow, so much nasty in one place. All this finger pointing isn't' helping anyone.

Jim Hart

Rep. Boles needs to continue his pursuit of legislation to provide for a recall election for Laura Lang, given that she seems to be digging in her heels and staying on the Board. It is time to wipe the slate clean....completely.


Censored - Before you start tossing your vitriol around, perhaps you could list your charitable works.


Talk about desperation.... Insulting the Van Camps? That is low. I'm sorry to say this but I wouldn't be surprised that "censored" or "seeker" isn't a board member... Or Kathy Kennedy. I shouldn't have replied but I've got to stand for what is right! I teach here and have heard nothing but bad things about Kathy Kennedy. They told me to keep my mouth shut about her if I wanted to keep my job...lol not anymore. This had been going on for years. The teachers would back me.

Sammy Kidd

It's Kathy Kennedy. We have her cornered. She must strike now.


Censored -- what have the Van Camps done to you personally to make you such a critic? You seem to be a "chorus" of one.


To Censored: It's obvious you are backing the 5. It's best for you to stop now. We are in this to support Dr.Bob. I've taught for close to 20 years. I've always kept quiet til now... the way Dr. Bob was treated was completely immoral. He visited my school and spoke with the students. He is much loved. And as for the Van Camps....they have done so much for the Community! How dare you even question that? It's fine because we know better!

My guess is we've heard the last from "seeker". Sadly this story has brought about a plethora of personal attacks most of which likely have no merit. My guess is that this will give pause to those considering running for such elected offices in the future. I understand disagreement, I understand strong disagreement but much of this has been over the top.

You Suck

LOL, only because the Pilot shut my account down. Yes, I agree that only one side should be heard and the Pilot shouldn't do any investigative journalism. The attacks from the pro-Boles side have been so pleasant and professional, all of you are just puppies and kittens. If everyone is so sure that the action was without merit, why doesn't Bob waive his confidentiality rights? LOL, I'll die holding my breath waiting for that to happen.


In response to the "follow the money" post written by "seeker" allow me to provide a few facts. The school system approached my family about land on Morganton road. My family did not initiate the discussions. This is the same family that donated over 130,000 dollars to Pinecrest High School last year to purchase equipment for the new gym and over 250,000 worth of land to the Boy's and Girl's Club several years ago. I am wondering if you followed that money "seeker"? With respect to the current situation, I can assure you that if the Moore County School System purchases my family's land there will be another generous donation to allow the School system to purchase the property for well below market value. Does that create a problem for you seeker? Finally, if you are going to attack my family with these baseless accusations at least be big enough to sign your name. Tom Van Camp

You Suck

Yes, it looks totally innoncent that a family that wants to do business with the Board is the attorney Boles hires to sue the board. I'm just a silly goose!

Having State Law amended to change your property zoning....Quid Pro Quo
Having the School Board forced out. (Never waste an opportunity - Rahm Emanuel)....Quid Pro Quo
Not having to answer any questions from the press about the other side of the story......Priceless

I get by with a little help from my friends........

I'm sure that I'll be censored again by the State Press, so goodbye for now. By the way, I hear they need politicians and lawyers in Newark, NJ


Is this the best we can do for a member of the Board of Education? A woman (Lang) who is barely literate?? Time for her to go. RECALL this woman and get her out of our children's lives! Let's hope those who are called upon to replace the three who have already resigned will have better command of the English language and a better education!

Walter B Bull

Thank you public for calm reasoning and opposition that was firm but civil.

Truth Seeker

Now let's see who will benefit! Who has ties to Vancamp, who has inserted himself into local zoning before to benefit Vancamp before? Whose 'new' board will be looking to buy land owned by......

Follow the money

Tessie Taylor

This is not about money, seeker. Tom was approached by Jamie because Tom is a reputable lawyer who handled only one piece. If you don't really know what is taking place, please do not attempt to distract the community with negative, inappropriate and displaced comments.
Thank you, Moore County Teachers, for what you have given. It is my highest hope that with this action, the shackles that you have labored with will be removed and going forward, you will be given to do what you do best, TEACH! I will continue to do what I can to support you. This includes keeping the question in view. I will be asking for proof of changes in this regard ongoing.

Great job, Citizens United in Moore County for the good of our children.

Vetres Livengood

Laura Lang said in her interview, that she was elected by Moore county citizens,
and she would honor that election and not resign. NOW the Moore county citizens want her to resign, so why don't she resign. They want her OUT.

Hari Dizzle


TJ Forrester

Dear Grammar Police, limelight is one word, not two.


The three resignations are welcome news. However, I find it disturbing that a member of the Moore County School Board has such poor command of the English language. From her interview with WRAL and Aberdeen Times she makes several obvious grammatical errors : "Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address some of the rumors and speculation that has fueled public outcry......" She went on to say "Another completely false rumor is based on a photo of Kathy Farren, Cathy McRae, former superintendent Dr. Susan Purcer and I at Dr. Purcer's home in Greensboro." Yikes, perhaps Ms. Lang should spend a little less time seeking her own lime light and learn to use correct grammar if she is to be taken seriously.

JP Handsel

Agree with all except for the fact that Ms. Lang will ever be taken seriously. She will not.

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