Published May 10, 2012
A Florida high school science teacher faces dismissal amid allegations that she used a "cone of shame" dog collar to discipline students.
Pasco County Schools Superintendent Heather Fiorentino has recommended firing Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp, 47, for putting a dog collar on at least eight of her ninth-grade students during two days last month.
The collar was reportedly the type used to prevent animals from licking their wounds after surgery. "Cone of shame" is a reference to the animated film "Up," which Bailey-Cutkomp had previously shown to students.
Zephyrhills High administrators learned of the allegations after seeing the students' photos on Facebook. Parents tipped off the school.
Some of her students say it was all a joke, in good fun.
Freshman Tanisha Medina, who wore the so-called "cone of shame,” said it was funny.
"Her No. 1 rule is don't eat, don't drink water, don't chew gum," said Medina. "And I'm always chewing gum, I'm always drinking water, I'm always eating. But she kind of laid off on that because she's a cool teacher."
Meanwhile, Bailey-Cutkomp has apologized and reportedly said putting the cone on students was probably a bad decision. She requested a hearing before the school board to appeal the superintendent's decision.
Angela Nielsen, who has a young daughter, said she would have been startled if she heard her daughter was wearing something like that.
"I probably would freak out," Nielsen said. "I really would because she's very sensitive, and I feel that that's very embarrassing and humiliating to a child.
Bailey-Cutkomp has been on paid leave and did not return a call from MyFoxTampaBay.com.
Associated Press contributed to this report