When a guest who was scheduled to read to second-graders over Zoom this month didn’t show up, Toby Price, the assistant principal at a Mississippi elementary school, improvised.

Price’s boss at Gary Road Elementary School suggested Price read to the students, so he reached for one of his favorite children’s books: “I Need a New Butt!” written by Dawn McMillan and illustrated by Ross Kinnaird.

“It’s a funny, silly book,” Price, 46, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I’m a firm believer that … if kids see that books can be funny and silly, they’ll hang around long enough to see all the other cool things that books can be.”

The students “thought it was hilarious,” Price recalled. But the superintendent for the Hinds County School District near Jackson, Miss., did not, and about an hour after the event, Price was placed on administrative leave. Two days later, on March 4, he was fired.