Toby Price, former assistant principal at Gary Road Elementary School in Mississippi, says he was fired after reading a children’s book to students that school district officials deemed inappropriate. Screengrab from WLBT video

A Mississippi assistant principal was fired from his job after he read a children’s book called, I Need a New Butt, to second-graders last week during a Zoom class. Toby Price, who’d been assistant principal at Gary Road Elementary School in Byram, said the book is a favorite of his, and he grabbed it to read to students after a guest reader didn’t show up. He told local station WLBT that he’s read the book, which he described as “funny” and “silly,” and has a suggested reading age of six to 10 years old, to children at other schools and there’s never been a problem. The publisher’s synopsis of the book by author Dawn McMillan says, “A young boy suddenly notices a big problem — his butt has a huge crack! So he sets off to find a new one. Will he choose an armor-plated butt? A rocket butt? Find out in this quirky tale of a tail, which features hilarious rhymes and delightful illustration.” The termination letter Price was sent from the superintendent of the Hinds County School District superintendent said reading the book showed, quote, “a lack of professionalism and impaired judgment” and caused “unnecessary embarrassment.” It’s not clear who complained about the book.