Book shows behinds, encourages rule breaking

A Hinds County educator fired for reading a children’s book titled “I Need a New Butt!” to second-graders defended his decision to read the book during a Monday termination appeal hearing, saying it’s a silly book that children enjoy.

“The kids are in on the joke as they read it,” said Toby Price, who was assistant principal at Gary Road Elementary School in Byram, about “I Need a New Butt!” by Dawn McMillan

However, if he were asked beforehand not to read it, Price said he would have followed that request.

Price was terminated earlier this month for reading the book to second graders over the video conferencing platform Zoom.

Monday was the second day of hearings at the Hinds County School District office in Raymond.

Toby Price, a former assistant principal at Gary Road Elementary School in Byram, Miss., answers questions during an appeal hearing at the Hinds County Public Schools administrative office in Raymond, Miss., regarding his dismissal after reading the children's book he's holding,

During the first hearing on March 21, Superintendent Delesicia Martin explained problems with the book and reasons for Price’s firing.

In a March 3 letter to Price, she said reading the book caused “unnecessary embarrassment,” and showed “a lack of professionalism and impaired judgment.”

During testimony, the superintendent said the book was inappropriate because it showed pictures of and contained language about human buttocks and showed character in violation of school rules.

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