JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – A deputy director was fired last week after reading a children’s book titled “I need a NEW BUTT!” to a class… and he doesn’t understand why.
Last week, Gary Road Elementary School deputy principal Toby Price was fired after reading the children’s book to a group of 2nd graders.
“My boss had asked me to set up a Zoom with the sophomores and the principal of the school they are coming to next year and she would read them to them. And she didn’t show up,” Price said. “My boss told me ‘Go ahead and read.’ I picked up one of my favorite books I had around, I read it aloud, it’s a funny, silly book.”
Price said he had read this book in previous school districts but never heard any contradictions or complaints.
“I didn’t think twice about reading it because I’ve never had a problem with it. There are other books with much more suggestive material that is much more widely accepted,” Price explains.
According to Price’s termination letter from the superintendent of the Hinds County School District, Price showed “a lack of professionalism and impaired judgment” by choosing the book and for those reasons he is fired.
3 On Your Side asked the school district for a statement about Price’s dismissal, but the superintendent declined to comment.
“I just think, you know, this was a pretty harsh response. I’ve been in education for 20 years. I’ve never had anything disciplinary on my file nor because I was late. So I was overwhelmed,” said Price.
In response to Price’s plight, children’s writers, teachers and librarians have sent messages and posted on social media that the book is “hilarious and sweet”, “happy and fun” and “light-hearted” and that the inspector’s decision was wrong. .
Now Price hopes to reverse their decision, get his job back and teach others that comic books are needed in education.
“If you don’t show kids funny and silly books, they won’t stick around long enough to learn that books can be other things than funny and silly books. You have to crochet them with the funny and crazy stuff. And that’s what I’ve always done. That’s what this book was for,” Price said.
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