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Anal retentive school administrator in Hinds County shows her ass over “buttiful” children’s book…

The featured photo is a screenshot from the excellent YouTube video by Lindsay Out Loud, who expertly read this book aloud on YouTube.

This is a great book! Author! Author!

Educator and father, Toby Rice, used to be the assistant principal at Gary Roads Elementary School in Hinds County, Mississippi. Today, he’s no longer employed at the school. What caused Rice to lose his job? He ran afoul of the district superintendent, Delesicia Martin, who took exception to Rice’s decision to read what she considered an “inappropriate” book to a bunch of second graders.

The trouble started on March 2, 2022. It was Read Across America week, and in honor of the annual event, approximately 240 second graders in Hinds County were to be read a book by one of the school administrators. But the administrator who was supposed to read to the kids had forgotten it was her turn to read aloud on Zoom. So Toby Rice, who has twenty years of experience as an educator, filled in at the last minute. He read Dawn McMillan’s 2012 book, “I Need a New Butt!”

I dedicate this “buttiful” song by Eddie Murphy to all of the anal retentive assholes in Hinds County…

Mr. Rice had read the book at a previous school where he had been principal. The father of three also read it to his own children, who counted the book as one of their favorites. The kids who heard Mr. Rice read “I Need a New Butt” in Hinds County were also delighted by the book, which is about a boy who decides he needs a new butt after seeing that his butt has a crack in it and thinking it’s broken.

Sadly, humor challenged administrators in Hinds County were offended by Price’s book choice for the literacy promotion event. Fifteen minutes after Mr. Price read the book to the kids, he was called to his principal’s office. The principal told Price that he shouldn’t have read that book and that parents would probably complain. And then, Price was told that the superintendent wanted to see Price “immediately”. According to the Washington Post:

“They kind of just let me have it,” Price said. “She said, ‘Is this the kind of thing you find funny and silly? Fart and butt and bulletproof butts?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I did until I walked in.’ ”

Two days later, Mr. Price was fired. According to the termination letter Mr. Price received from the evidently “butthurt” school superintendent, Delescia Martin, Mr. Price violated the Mississippi Educator Code of Ethics, Standards of Conduct. Below is a screenshot of the portion Mr. Price’s termination letter regarding why he was fired. The entire letter can be found here.

Some people got their knickers in a twist…

Regular readers know that I don’t have children. I also don’t live in Mississippi. I would not choose to live in Mississippi, because it is a place consistently placed at the BOTTOM (see what I did there) of many important “quality of life” listings. Public school education is one area where Mississippi regularly ranks at the BOTTOM. According to the US News and World Report, Mississippi is DEAD LAST in state healthcare rankings. Given that Mississippi is often placed “dead ass last” in so many “quality of life” rankings, is it any wonder that a superintendent would get sand in her undies over an educator reading a book that mentions farts and butt cracks? Of course, opinions are like assholes; everybody has one, and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks. But I am of the opinion that Mississippi is close to the “bowels” of the United States, and “shitty” news stories like this one do little to sway my views.

Something really stinks about this…

I am a big fan of “inappropriate humor”, so if I had children who attended school in Hinds County, I would probably routinely “crack” lots of jokes about butts. I mean– it’s “HINDS County”, for pity’s sake. Where else would it be so funny to read a children’s book about butts? But in all seriousness, as Mr. Rice pointed out, there are a lot of “reluctant readers” in that county. According to Data USA, there are also a lot of poor people in Hinds County. In 2019, 21.3% of the county’s residents lived at or below the poverty line. Mr. Price said that a lot of students in Hinds County rely on free or reduced price school lunches, which makes teaching literacy especially important.

Many kids LOVE funny books with inappropriate “body” humor in them. A book like “I Need a New Butt” might be just the thing a young, beginner, “reluctant reader” needs to get hooked on reading, instead of more harmful things, like drugs and alcohol. Moreover, the book is marketed for children between the ages of 6 and 10. Second graders are usually about 7 years old, so this book was written expressly for them.

It sounds to me like the administrators in Hinds County allowed their personal preferences to dictate what is, and what is not, appropriate reading material for children. This book is very popular, and is used by educators and parents all over the country and, in fact, even worldwide. Below is a video posted by The Scottish Granny, who is reading a slightly altered version of Dawn McMillan’s book titled “I Need a New Bum”.

Look at her! She’s having a right good laugh at all the arse humor… How could anyone fault her for bonding with her grandchild over a funny book like this? Is this “inappropriate”? That child is a lot younger than seven.

We’re living in very serious times right now. We could all use a good laugh. Kids today have to face so many awful things– war, pandemics, political nightmares, school shootings, inflation, and the list goes on and on. Do the administrators of Hinds County really believe that reading a funny book about butts– which EVERYONE can relate to, because we all poop and fart, and the vast majority of us have cracks in our butts– is the worst thing a teacher or school administrator can do? Can Hinds County really AFFORD to lose an experienced educator who cares about children as much as Mr. Price obviously does?

Delescia Martin and her ilk may be educators, but I really think firing Mr. Price was a very shortsighted and decidedly *uneducated* decision. Now, if Mr. Price had read a book like Beavis and Butt-head’s This Book Sucks to the children, I might be more understanding about the decision to fire him for being “inappropriate”. But lots of excellent children’s books are about universal experiences that we all face– even unpleasant or unsavory topics like pooping and farting. Remember the popular children’s book, Everyone Poops? It was marketed to children aged 0 to 3 and is highly regarded as an excellent book for teaching potty training. As a matter of fact, a quick look at Amazon shows me that there are many other children’s books about pooping available. I don’t see how Dawn McMillan’s funny book about needing a new butt because of a “crack” in it is any more scandalous than a book like “It Hurts When I Poop”, by Howard J. Bennett, MD and illustrated by M.S. (Michael) Weber. And yet, that book also gets high marks from (probably) very grateful parents who use them to teach their children about life.

The people of Hinds County are definitely ready to give the administration a good figurative public spanking…

I read today that Mr. Price has retained a lawyer and will be fighting to get his job back. There is an appeal hearing scheduled for March 21, and a GoFundMe campaigned has raised over $100,000 to help Mr. Price plead his case to get reinstated. Above is one grandmother’s post on Gary Roads Elementary School’s Facebook page. Obviously, a lot of parents and grandparents are concerned and involved; quite a few of them would like to see the assistant principal be rehired. I would certainly hope that other school districts have taken notice of this case, especially if they need an experienced and dedicated educator who obviously knows and cares what children like. My many teacher friends tell me that teaching has been especially difficult lately, and a lot of well-trained and talented people are leaving the profession or not going into teaching at all. I’ll ask again. Can Hinds County really afford to lose Mr. Price?

Between this story and the one involving McMinn County in Tennessee and their stupid decision to ban the excellent book, Maus, I’m actually feeling kind of glad I don’t have any children to worry about. But I do have stepgrandchildren now, I really hope the education administrators in the United States remove their heads from their asses before younger daughter’s children begin their educational careers. And I’m also glad that I, myself, grew up in a less ridiculous time. I feel like a lot of people in the United States could collectively use a mental enema.

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6 thoughts on “Anal retentive school administrator in Hinds County shows her ass over “buttiful” children’s book…

  1. It seems to me that many (not all, but more than enough) conservatives (especially in red states) have no sense of humor at all. They like to point fingers at Islamic countries where religion and government are the same and say, “Look, those darned Muslims hate America because we are free!” They point out that dictatorships stifle original thinking and freedom of speech, yet they (without much self-awareness or a sense of irony) behave in a comparable way.

    I note, also, that the administrator in “Butt” – er. Hinds – County is not much different from the 10 conservative members of Tennessee’s McMinn County School Board, the asshats that banned “Maus” from the eighth-grade English curriculum.

    I was lucky to have been of school age when Florida wasn’t a solidly conservative state and its public schools (especially in cosmopolitan Miami) gave students a decent (not great, not world-class, but decent) education. Where I live now is a large metro area (Tampa-St. Petersburg), but it is far more conservative-leaning even though Tampa itself has a Democratic majority. (The outskirts? Not so much. And I live in the outskirts!)

    My friend – the one who took me in – had two kids in high school here in Hillsborough when I moved in; they were fortunate in that the School Board here is still not dominated by MAGA Republicans. The youngest, my friend’s daughter, had to read “Maus” in her junior year. She graduated last year (with honors) and is now working at Target while attending classes at the University of South Florida. She and her two older brothers were spared from the Trump/DeSantis madness that gave us the “Don’t Say Gay” law and other bits of right-wing madness. Sadly, other kids who are still in school won’t be.

    • I grew up in a very conservative town, but I think I got a pretty good education there. We definitely had a tough (5 point) grading scale! But that was in the 80s, before things became so polarized and ridiculous.

      My high school was in the news a few years ago, because a transgender student sued for the right to use the boys’ bathroom. The case went to the Supreme Court. I read a lot of mean comments in the local newspaper about the student.

      I just can’t get over that this educator lost his job over reading that book in an era when teachers are leaving in droves. Hell… we have administrators in New Jersey taking dumps on the track. US education is just fucked lately.

  2. I suspect that the principal and/or superintendent had an issue with Mr. Price and was/were waiting for the first opportunity to fire him. I read an interview with Mr. Price that took place after the termination. He agreed that the book is probably only an excuse and that the principal and/or superintendent likely wanted him gone, though he claims to have no idea as to what the reason would be, and may very well be truthful in his claim.

    In California, a school administrator serves at the will of the board of trustees and can be terminated at any point after the terms of the administrator’s contract with the district have been fulfilled. If the administrator has, immediately prior to having been hired as an administrator, completed the tenuring process as a teacher in the particular district and hasn’t been fired for cause (which requires all sorts of documentation and is subject to legal challenge), he or she has the right to continue employment as a TEACHER when no longer welcome as an administrator (my teacher friends in California are so thrilled with the idea that the worst job consequence typically given to a school administrator in California, unless he or she molests a child, is giving him or her the position of “teacher”). In any event, if the administrator is a new hire and never went through the tenuring process as a teacher in that district, all the district has to do to rid itself of the administrator is not to offer him or her a contract for the next year. If the new contract is already in the employee’s hands, they’re stuck with him or her for another year, but at the end of THAT year, he or she doesn’t have to be invited to return. The only employees typically having multi-year contracts are superintendents. Price was a full principal in at least one other district prior to working for Hinds County School District. It would seem unlikely that he had teacher tenure if teacher tenure even exists in Mississippi, which would be far from a surety.

    I don’t know anything about the termination protocols in Mississippi’s schools, but it’s difficult to imagine that the state of Mississippi would have educational employment laws and protocols that were more strongly pro-educator than California’s laws are. It’s hard to believe that a school in Mississippi couldn’t just choose not to rehire an assistant principal for the following year. It’s difficult to accept that the termination was really about Mr. Price’s book choice, and it’s equally difficult not to question the motives or the competence of any administrator who would have gone about securing Price’s termination in the first place, much less in the manner chosen.

    • You’re probably right. However, it looks like Dr. Martin is facing a lot of backlash now that will backfire on her. People are calling for her to be fired.

      This was not the best time to do this, given the recent Maus controversy in a similar community. I suspect the truth will come out eventually.

      • It was rather foolish of the superintendent not to have considered the consequences of firing on faulty grounds. The principal may be implicated in this as well.

      • Yes. I read that years ago, when she was a principal, she and another administrator were taken hostage. This incident would not be one I would want to see end a career.

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