A school district in Mississippi upheld a decision to fire an administrator for reading a book called “I Need a New Butt!” to second classes – but the start-up administrator promised to take the fight to court.
Toby Price was fired as assistant principal at Gary Road Elementary in Byram in March, but he appealed the Hinds County inspector’s decision and only found out how the school board voted this week, Clarion-Ledger reported.
Price had reportedly been asked to step in and read to young people during a Zoom class after the planned reader – principal – did not show up.
“I was asked to read … and here we are,” he told the newspaper this week. “I’m just really sorry. I do not think it needed to happen this way.”
The two-year veteran of training told Ledger he plans to sue to get his job back.
Price had said the “silly” book by Dawn McMillan was “one of his favorites,” but Superintendent Delesicia Martin said it crossed a line by showing “private areas of the body.”
Hinds School Board members held a hearing on Price’s appeal on April 28 and then voted on his fate in a closed door session. The board’s 12-page decision was just handed over to the fired educator on Monday, Ledger reported.
Of five members of the school board, only two voted to maintain the firing, with two people abstaining and one person voting against, according to the newspaper.
“He does not see the problems associated with a school administrator desensitizing both adult nudity and child nudity by exposing it to children in his custody,” the decision said.
“It requires at least children to believe that all kinds of actions are not something to worry about – they are just fun. But these activities are dangerous for children.”
The board claimed a child pulled their pants down in class and repeatedly used the word “butt” while knocking on an administrator’s door after reading the story, Ledger said.
The book outlines a young boy’s journey to find a new butt after noticing that “his butt has a huge crack,” according to the publisher’s description.
The description goes on to say that this “quirky tale of a tail” contains rhymes and illustrations and promises that children and parents will love the book “no if, too, or butt about it!”
With Post wires