Parents React To Arrest Of Opp P.E. Teacher


By Amanda Wade

People in Opp say they are shocked by the arrest of a well-known and respected middle school coach.

Officials with the US Attorney's Office say Tim Grimes was arrested Tuesday for allegedly violating federal firearms laws. Grimes is a P.E. teacher and athletic director at Opp Middle School, employed since 2009.

Opp City School's superintendent, Michael Smithart, says Grimes is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, "This just does not involve Opp City Schools. It's one of our staff members. Allegedly, events that took place off campus away from work, and so unfortunately, it's something we have to deal with, but you know, it should not impact the day to day operations of our school district and certainly not the safety and well-being of our students."

Although details on the investigation are limited, officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives say the alleged violations happened within the United States and have no connection to terrorism. They also say the allegations do not involve any international trafficking.

Parents like Melinda Fuller describe Grimes as a great coach who always encourages his students, "My daughter is going into the sixth grade and she doesn't have him for a P.E. coach, but she sees him at school and she just thinks the world of him, so like I said, we were all just really shocked because he's such a super nice guy."

Jamie Peterson, another Opp Middle School parent, says Grimes coaches her sons, "I would like to see him come back. I mean, he's a really good coach. And he's great with the kids. I mean, I ain't never heard a bad thing about him before, up until now."

Smithart says students were never in danger in any way around Tim Grimes.

The US Attorney's Office says Grimes made an initial court appearance on Tuesday and was released on bond.

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