Principal Fired For Reading Book With The Word Butt

An assistant principal is fired without warning for reading this beloved children's book.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Toby Price has been an educator for almost two decades. He has taught first, fourth, and fifth-grade classes, and he has been a principal for ten years. Today, however, the Gary Road Elementary assistant principal is out of a job for a very interesting reason. The principal was fired for reading a book to students with the word “butt”.

Gary Road Elementary School in Byram, Mississippi laid off Toby Price without warning after he read Dawn McMillan’s beloved children’s story  I Need a New Butt to a group of second graders. As WJTV reported, the classroom was filled with kids ranging from seven to eight years old as the fired principal found himself having to fill in for a guest reader that never showed. According to Price, his boss gave him the green light to fill in when the guest reader didn’t show. Price, without hesitation, grabbed what he calls one of his “favorite” books to read. 

principal fired

The fired principal said he never even thought twice before choosing the book to read to the young children as he said he’d “never had an issue with it before.” Furthermore, Price said the elementary school offers other more suggestive books that are even more widely accepted than this one. Since being fired, Price has launched a GoFundMe in lieu of losing his job as he tries to maintain support for his family, which includes two autistic kids and another that is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Also, he says the fundraiser money will go towards the fees he will have to pay his lawyer involved in the employment termination case.

According to the local news reports, the Hinds County School District stated the reasoning for the termination in the letter firing the principal as “unnecessary embarrassment” and “lack of professionalism and impaired judgment”.  However, officials from the school district did tell Daily Mail that they were unaware as to whether a complaint was made on behalf of a student or a parent. The Hinds County School District board of education is set to hold a discussion concerning the incident, but a date has not been set yet.

The book in concern follows a young boy who has suddenly realized his butt has a large crack in it. Setting off to find a new one, the hilarious rhyming book finds the little boy imagining all the different “butt” styles he can muster. At its core, the young children’s book is meant to be silly short story parents and kids alike can enjoy. However, after reading some of the negative reviews on Amazon for the book, it’s clear as to what may have led to the principal being fired.

principal fired

Book banning is nothing new, but within the United States, more and more school districts have been seen placing stricter book restrictions in schools. According to Vox, there were over 330 challenged books in 2021, which was an uptick from recent years. The fired principal’s Attorney even made a point to tell local outlets that I Need a New Butt was in fact available to read on Hinds County’s own e-book program for students while he addressed the growing problem regarding states “respecting the rights of teachers to speak out”.