Toby Price argues he read similar books to ‘I Need a New Butt!’ without retribution

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 8:43 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The saga involving fired assistant vice principal Toby Price and the Hinds County School District continued Monday with Price taking the witness stand on his own behalf.

Price’s attorney, Joel Dillard, brought up several books in the school’s library that showed bad behavior that would not be allowed in a school setting - an argument the school district had last week against “I Need a New Butt!”

Price says books like that can teach kids important lessons. “You would show them that David’s example is not the best example when you’re at school,” he said.

Dillard also mentioned that it wasn’t the first time that Price had read a book of that nature in the Hinds County School District.

In fact, a video of Price reading “I Broke My Butt!” was shared on the Gary Road Elementary Facebook page back in 2020 with no push back from administration, parents or teachers in the comments.

“Kids were at home with COVID and we were trying to find ways to engage students while they were at home and several other principals gave me the idea of doing story-time while they were at home,” he explained

Elizabeth Maron, the school district’s attorney, then asked Price if he condoned children “pulling down their pants and showing their bottoms.” Price quickly said no and that he believed 2nd graders would understand the book was not to be copied because it was fiction.

“The person in the story was like some 2-inch tall cartoon character, so it’s not the same,” he stated.

The school district subpoenaed Amanda Stocks, a former colleague of Price when he worked for the Rankin County School District, who spoke on Price’s employment history.

“There was a list of concerns presented to Mr. Price about his job performance and there are conversations about him being none renewed,” she said.

But after Stocks did not elaborate on those concerns, Dillard argued that just because he resigned from Rankin and moved to Hinds doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.

The hearing was recessed to allow the school district to submit last minute affidavits before the hearing officer submits his report, and the Hinds County School Board decides whether to give Price his job back.

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