I need a new butt.
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A vice principal in Mississippi was fired this week for reading a kid’s book, I Need A New Butt to second graders.
Here is Toby Price’s termination letter.
For thirty years I taught kindergarten through fifth and sixth grade art classes in a public school outside of Chicago.
As part of my lesson plans I generally included reading aloud at the start of class. Particularly with my kindergarten and first graders.
Children’s books are filled with great illustrations. Some are just funny, or in the words of Superintendent Delescicia Martin, filled with inappropriate words like fart.
Kindergarten and first grade students love it when their teacher says the word fart. They love it even more if it comes from a book.
Hearing these inappropriate words, they squeal with delight.
For many, they will later find that book and read it over and over, laughing each time.
In Mississippi my book choices would definitely be suspect.
Maybe not just in Mississippi.
In Florida now you can’t say Gay.
In Texas you can be Trans.
Teachers now find themselves as targets of a nationwide assault on academic freedom in public schools. From the teaching of critical race theory to LGBT content in classrooms, MAGAs and right-wingers are training their sights on teachers.
Shortly after Tennessee legislators passed a bill banning the teaching of critical race theory, a school district in the eastern region of the state fired teacher Matthew Hawn for presenting lessons on racism in his contemporary-issues course. At a hearing, a local school official criticized Hawn for assigning an essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates, saying that “maybe a more conservative stance would have been an appropriate alternative.”
When I was teaching there was a group financed by Betsy DeVos, later Donald Trump’s Education Secretary, that waged a campaign against the book, Click, Clack, Moo. Cows that Type.
In Click, Clack, Moo cows want the farmer to know that they have certain needs (i.e., electric blankets for chilly nights). On an old typewriter they uncover, they type and post their demands daily. When the farmer refuses, the cows refuse to give milk. Soon the chickens join in by refusing to lay eggs. It’s the story of a barnyard strike.
But to Kyle Olson of the Michigan-based, DeVos family funded Education Action Group it was bolshevik propaganda.
By the way, Olson and EAG also filed Freedom of Information requests for all my work emails and my personnel file when I was union president.
I was a target because of my political activism as a teacher and as a citizen.
That was a dozen years ago.
There is no doubt that the situation is worse today.
Florida is a right-to-work state, therefore the situation today is definitely worse today for all teachers.
As a matter of fact in Florida it is not 2022; it is approaching Orwell's 1984.