(The Hill) — An elementary school assistant principal was fired last week for reading a children’s book to a second grade class that was deemed inappropriate by school district leaders.
Toby Price was fired from Gary Road Elementary in Mississippi after he read “I Need a New Butt” by Dawn McMillan to students, The Associated Press reported.
The book is about a child who wants a new butt after he finds out his “has a huge crack.”
“Will he choose an armor-plated butt? A rocket butt? A robot butt? Find out in this quirky tale of a tail, which features hilarious rhymes and delightful illustrations,” the book says. “Children and parents will love this book — no ifs, ands, or butts about it!”
Price, who was the school’s assistant principal for three years, called the book “funny and silly” and said he never got complaints when he read it in other school districts in the past, according to the AP.
“I was asked to schedule a Zoom where we were going to have a guest reader with the second graders. The Zoom reader didn’t show, and I didn’t hear back, so I was told to go ahead and read,” Price told multiple outlets.
“I didn’t think twice about reading it because I’ve never had an issue with it before. There are other books that have much more suggestive material that are much more widely accepted,” he added. The book is suggested for a target audience of four to 10 year olds, according to the AP.
Price said he has never had a discipline referral before and that he plans to contest his firing at a March 21 hearing.
Hinds County Schools Superintendent Delesicia Martin said Price was fired for “unnecessary embarrassment, a lack of professionalism and impaired judgment” in selecting the book, the AP reported.