By Philip Caulfield
Pasco County school officials caught Zephyrhills High teacher Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp using a cone-shaped dog collar dubbed “the cone of shame” to punish misbehaving students after some teens posted photos on Facebook last month.
Parents saw the embarassing pics and complained, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Ninth-graders at the west Florida school said the 47-year-old science teacher and former veterinarian fastened the “cone of shame” on students who arrived late or acted up in class.
“I was in second period. I was drinking soda, and she said, ‘Do I have to put the cone on you?'” one unidentified girl said in a statement to the school board.
“I didn’t say anything and she put it on me.”
Bailey-Cutkomp brought the cone to school after showing students the Pixar movie “Up” during a slow day before spring break, the Times reported.
The 2009 flick featured a dopey dog named Dug who is forced to wear a “cone of shame” — in reality, a plastic collar that prevents animals from licking their wounds after surgery — as punishment.
Bailey-Cutkomp was booted from the classroom and is awaiting a school board hearing to determine whether she’ll be fired.
“I am stunned that you would put dog collars on students for any reason,” Pasco County schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino said in a letter, according to the newspaper.
Students said Bailey-Cutkomp placed“the cone of shame” on students who arrived late or misbehaved.
Bailey-Cutkomp, who has been teaching full-time since 2002, told school officials that the collar was meant to be a joke and she didn’t mean to hurt or embarrass anyone.
Some of her students backed her up.
“Whatever mistake Ms. Bailey-Cutkomp made, it was a mistake that I doubt she will make again,” ninth-grade teacher James Washington said in a letter to the school board.
“Furthermore, what I have witnessed at ZHS certainly makes me believe that she has much to offer the students.”
A school board hearing on the matter hasn’t been scheduled yet.
Source : nydailynews