Teacher Places Animal Cone Collars on Students: Officials

Students say the animal cone was meant to be a joke

Thursday, May 10, 2012  |  Updated 11:34 AM EDT
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A Zephyrhills High School teacher could lose her job for using animal cones to discipline her students, officials said.

Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp, 47, placed the “cone of shame,” a device used on animals to prevent them from licking their wounds, on her students for talking, texting and eating in class, WPTV reported.

The science teacher was suspended without pay after parents discovered photos of the students wearing the cone collars on Facebook, the report said.

Bailey-Cutkomp’s attorney, Mark Steven Herdman, was not available for comment on Thursday.

Students in Bailey-Cutkomp's class told WPTV it was all a joke and defended their teacher.

"We do a lot of bad stuff," student Tanisha Medina told WPTV. "She just did it as a joke saying she was gonna punish us by doing it, but she asked us before and we were all laughing and joking around."

The students said the cone was meant to poke fun at the dog in the Disney movie “Up” who is punished with a cone collar.

"I don't care if it's a joke or not, it's unacceptable," parent Dawn Davis told WPTV. "That's a human, that's not an animal and I feel she (the teacher) shouldn't be here.”

Pasco School District Superintendent Heather Fiorentino sent a letter to Bailey-Cutkomp to inform her of the district’s recommendation to terminate her position, according to reports.

Bailey-Cutkomp will have to appeal the recommendation during a hearing before the school board to keep her job, officials said.

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