‘I Need a New Butt’ book gets assistant principal fired at Mississippi elementary school

The former assistant principal of a Mississippi elementary school says he’s out of a job over a children’s book he read to a group of second graders.

Toby Price was fired from Gary Road Elementary School in Byram after he read the “I Need a New Butt” book to students last week, WJTV reported. The picture book, written by New Zealand author Dawn McMillan, has a suggested reading age of 6 to 10 years old, according to Amazon.com.

Price confirmed the news in a March 7 Facebook post, saying he was let go by the Hinds County School District “for reading an awesome book to kids.” In an online fundraiser, he described “I Need a New Butt” as a “funny silly book” that children love.

“A young boy suddenly notices a big problem — his butt has a huge crack! So he sets off to find a new one,” a synopsis of the book reads. “Will he choose an armor-plated butt? A rocket butt? ... Find out in this quirky tale of a tail.”

Price said he stepped in to do the reading after a guest reader failed to show up.

“My boss told me ‘Go ahead and read,’” he recalled to WLBT. “I grabbed one of my favorite books that I had nearby, I read it to them.

“I didn’t think twice about reading it because I’ve never had an issue with it before,” Price added. “There are other books that have much more suggestive material that are much more widely accepted.”

It’s unclear if the reading sparked complaints among students or parents. McClatchy News reached out to the Hinds County School District for comment on Wednesday, March 9, and was awaiting a response.

In a termination letter, school district officials chided Price for causing “unnecessary embarrassment” and cited “a lack of professionalism and impaired judgment,” according to WJTV.

Hinds County School Board members are set to hold a public hearing on the matter, though a date hasn’t been set, the news station reported.

Byram is about 10 miles southwest of Jackson.

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