A Denton middle school principal will be reassigned to a different position after it was revealed he wrote a book – “Pepe The Frog.”
Officials with Denton Independent School District announced they would reassign Rodriguez Middle School Principal Eric Hauser due to the conservative-themed book featuring the title character, which is tied to hate groups and white nationalists.
A press release from the district noted Hauser’s book “drew controversy to himself and the district.”
The statement further provided “the book’s implied message has been a distraction to his colleagues across Denton ISD.”
Originally published on August 1, The Adventures of Pepe and Pede” is the story of Pepe and his friend, a centipede named Pede, who work to save their home from a bearded alligator named Alkah and his underlings.
While Hauser admits the book contains a conservative political slant, he denies any ties to any racist organizations or any racist intentions behind the book:
“The students, the community and the teachers are too important to me to subject them to all the negativity and disapproval resulting from this book,” Hauser said in a statement. “To my colleagues, I offer my deepest apologies if this has affected them or their families in any negative way.”
Corroborating the nearly-disgraced educator, according to Matt Furie, the creator of the “Boy’s Club” comic book where Pepe first appeared, the character was originally intended to be a “blissfully stoned frog.”
In recent years, however, the character is more prominently co-opted by “alt-right” groups using it in online memes to promote racist ideas and hate speech.