Hinds County School District holds hearing for fired administrator

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) — A heated debate between the Hinds County School District and former deputy vice-principal Toby Price erupted Monday over whether or not Price would read “I Need a New Ass!” was a punishable offence.

And the school district superintendent says his decision came after talking with other educators.

“Teachers had stated that the content of the book was inappropriate, and several teachers had indicated some of their bewilderment and were very concerned about what would happen when parents found out about it,” said Delesicia Martin, superintendent of the School Hinds Co. Neighborhood.

However, when asked if any parents or students complained about reading the book, she said no.

Martin claims the book, however, depicted a boy violating school policy and thinks it might encourage a student to do the same.

“If a student were to expose their bare bottom in the Hinds County School District, it would violate our rules,” she said.

Price’s attorney then listed other books in the Gary Road library that also depict similar images such as “No, David” and “Captain Underpants.”

Price’s witness, professor of literacy practice at Vanderbilt University, says he believes the book encourages children who are reluctant to read to turn the pages.

“It’s a book that will appeal to children and that they will find funny. And I think it’s totally appropriate to use it in a classroom with kids because we know it’s going to hook them as readers,” | he said. “They’re going to be excited to read it, you know, they’re going to laugh about it, and, you know, the kids will probably want to pick up and find other books in this series to read.”

Price says that while he hasn’t testified, he’s already battle-weary – but is bolstered by the overwhelming public support.

“All the support has been wonderful and so worth it. The letters the kids have written and the parents have written and the grandparents have written and the photos they keep sending me , showing me pictures of their children reading the book. It helps a lot.

The hearing will continue next Monday, where other witnesses will speak on behalf of both parties.

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