Every week Chapel Hill High School parents receive a newsletter with school announcements and updates. This week, the school’s interim principal used profanity, derogatory slang and a reference to sex in the newsletter sent Sunday evening.
“There are only three profane words. I counted them,” Steve Scroggs said. “I’m pleased. I have nothing to hide.”
The first paragraph of the email sent Sunday read: “OMG...I don’t believe it...knock me down with a feather...what the &%$...so good it makes you want to slap your momma...shiver me timbers...not in a million years...well bless your sweet heart...bury me with my boots on good...better than sex...who would’ve thunk it...well I’ll be damned...well shucks Andy...moonshine ain’t that good….Shazam...19 hours and 36 minutes without an email, will miracles never cease?”
Scroggs' latest newsletter is the first and only so far to use profanity.
“If someone is more concerned with the language than they are with the content, then we have a problem,” Scroggs said.
Throughout the email, he addressed students directly to carry school ID cards at all times, cover up as temperatures are dropping and clean up after themselves.
"Monday was a great day until, we had a young lady who visited the ladies rooms and stuffed the toilet paper rolls in the toilets and then flushed," the newsletter read. "When I went to school girls took toilet paper and stuffed it in their…….anyway, we had to go around, clean out toilets and replace the paper."
He made multiple references to people who engage in BMW (bitching, moaning and whining), including parents who focus on the negative and people who do not vote.
Scroggs also included the usual announcements about athletics and testing dates.
The interim principal said he's gotten positive feedback from the newsletter, nearly 1500 parents receive it every week.
“He’s giving a lot of material in a realistic fashion,” CHHS parent Cara Feinstein said. “It’s not the typical bureaucratic, administrative speak that we normally hear.”
While some parents find the principal’s tone engaging, others are awaiting an explanation from the school.
“I don’t think this is credible,” said Shawn Kneipp, whose daughter is a first-year student at CHHS. “It’s unbelievable. There’s a lot of it that’s completely inappropriate.”
Jeff Nash, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools spokesperson, said he could not comment on whether the newsletter’s language violates any policy of the school board.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board policy manual has a section on staff responsibilities and ethics that states employees must “support and encourage a professional relationship in all interactions with students, parents and members of the community.”
Sulura Jackson, the school’s permanent principal, left to receive a surgical procedure. Scroggs has filled the position as interim principal since Oct. 16. Jackson is expected to return to her role the first week of December.
Scroggs is a graduate of Chapel Hill High School and served as interim principal in 2009.
He retired in 2008, after serving as the assistant superintendent for support services at CHCCS for eight years. Prior to that, he worked in North Carolina public schools for 35 years.