A visit to an elementary school didn't have a fairytale ending for a Baltimore children's book writer after he made what he says was a joking comment to a 10-year-old that she should take off her clothes if she wanted his autograph on her face as she requested, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Richard Lynn Stack, who makes appearances in classrooms across the United States with his dogs in tow, has been banned from visiting other public schools in Harford County after an April 16 incident at Abingdon Elementary School. A student in attendance asked Stack to sign his name on her forehead, school district spokesman Don Morrison told the Sun.
Stack replied with an equally absurd request: He would autograph her forehead if she climbed on the cafeteria table and undressed.
Parents of a few other schoolchildren who overheard the comments reported Stack, who explained to Abingdon officials that he was joking and had deliberately said something ridiculous to match the oddity of the question.
When contacted by Sun reporters, Stack characterized the situation as "ludicrous."
"I had a great time at the school and was very well-received," Stack said in a prepared statement, adding that hundreds of students and a dozen staff members were within earshot of the exchange. "I am confident everyone there connected with my visit knows that nothing improper was intended."
Calling Stack's remark inappropriate, officials at the school canceled another of his scheduled visits at Abingdon and barred him from coming to any of the county's schools in the future, according to the Sun.
"It's not something you can tolerate as a school system, that an adult would use that type of phraseology around a group of 10-year-olds," Morrison told the paper.