A Mississippi assistant principal was fired after reading the children’s book “I Need a New Butt!” to a class of second graders, an act the school division says violated their code of ethics.
CNN reports Toby Price, assistant principal at Gary Road Elementary School in Byram, Mississippi, was fired last week after reading the book to a Zoom class of kids. Price, who worked as an assistant principal at Gary Road for three years, jumped on the Zoom reading because a principal that was supposed to be there to read didn’t show up.
“I text my boss, she said, ‘Well, go ahead and read.’ I wasn’t planning on reading, but I went ahead and grabbed one of my books that I had nearby. One of my favorites. I read it: ‘I Need a New Butt!’ It’s hilarious,” he told NBC News.
The book in question, written by Dawn McMillan and illustrated by Ross Kinnaird, tells the story of a young child who tries to find a new butt after he finds out that his “has a huge crack,” a description reads.
“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,” it reads. “Children and parents will love this book — no ifs, ands, or butts about it!”
Price said he used to read the book at other schools and never had an issue with its subject matter.
“I never had an issue with it,” he said. “It’s just a fun, silly book. If I had to do it all over again, I’d still share the silly, funny books with the kids, because they need them. The world’s a serious, harsh, dark place, and everybody needs a little bit of silly and a little bit of laughs every now and then. They just need that reminder that it’s not all bad all the time.”
Shortly after reading the book to the class, Price was called to the superintendent’s office, where he was placed on administrative leave and then fired two days later.
Price plans to appeal his termination at a hearing scheduled for March 21