According to a letter sent by Pasco County schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino to Zephyrhills High School science teacher Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp, the latter got the idea to use a reverse dunce cap she called the "cone of shame" from the Pixar movie Up.
Bailey-Cutkomp reportedly showed the film in class over the course of two days before and after spring break last month, and, inspired by the collar worn by the canine character Dug, brought her own "cone of shame" to class in order to "redirect student behavior."
It remains unclear how many students requested to wear the collar, as Bailey-Cutkomp claims, and how many were disciplined for various infractions. One student says he was put in the cone for drinking soda in class.
All told, some eight ninth-graders are said to have been collared in class.
Several teachers have come forward to defend Bailey-Cutkomp, writing a board member to praise her teaching skills. "I believe that Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp is an excellent instructor and role model for students at any school," said science teacher Steven L. Wilkinson.
The 47-year-old has been removed from the classroom and is presently awaiting an appeal hearing before the School Board.