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It’s a known fact that the most painful thing in God’s creation is sitting through a school board meeting, legally defined as the single most boring public function in the world. Imagine, then, the exquisite pain of actually being on a school board, and, in the midst of your suffering, having a fellow board member say something to you that begins, “You’re just a woman.” It gets worse! It gets so much worse!
Mark Gremaud of the Perry County School Board in Missouri is being censured for telling his female colleague Kathy Carron in a closed meeting: “Kathy, you are just a woman. The only thing you know is laying on your back with your legs in the air splayed.”
Not only is that sentence grammatically unwieldy (“splayed in the air” would’ve worked far better), but the board wasn’t discussing sex education, yoga positions, biological determinism, or anything else that might warrant that comment, according to board president Nancy Voelker. In a statement reported by KVFS 12, Voelker called Gremaud’s comments “unprovoked.” Sounds like an understatement! She writes:
I assure you that the comments for which Mr. Gremaud was censured were unprovoked. This is a fact uncontested by six members of the board. The discussion was not about teachers, students, farmers, or any other conjecture you may see on social media. We were discussing board procedures and board behaviors. Mrs. Carron’s statement was not directed to Mr. Gremaud, but was rather directed to the entire board. Mrs. Carron made a reasonable comment in a reasonable manner, before Mr. Gremaud’s unprovoked verbal attack.
Mr. Gremaud apologized at that time. However, the seriousness of the statement and the manner in which it was spoken made it impossible for us as a board, or a district, to end the matter with an apology.
And yet the board was pretty evenly split about whether Gremaud’s comment warranted a response: KVFS reports they voted 4-3 to censure him, and also requested that he resign. The station reports that one board member referred to the issue as “petty.” In video of the meeting, another male school board member says that he, too, has said “words” he wishes he could take back, and noted, with mysterious intentions, that Gremaud once drove the school bus.
Since the resignation request is just that—a request—Gremaud is still able to attend meetings, according to the news station, although he can’t cast votes. It’s unclear whether he will resign, but it’s certainly clear that he is a prime and unreconstructed example of a truly big time small-time dick.
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Gremaud, right, in green. The other gentleman is not accused of dickishness of any scale. Screengrab via KVFS