DENTON, Texas -- An assistant principal with the Denton Independent School District has been removed from his position after he self-published a children's book featuring the controversial character Pepe the Frog.
Monday, the school district announced the removal of Eric Hauser from Rodriguez Middle School. District officials say he'll be reassigned to a new role "yet to be determined."
“Our community understands our primary focus is the education of our students.” said Superintendent Dr. Jamie Wilson in statement from the district. "Anytime something occurs that becomes a distraction to the learning process, we will address it."
The book, titled "The Adventures of Pepe and Pede," was published on Amazon and described as an adventure story where "Pepe the Frog and his best friend Centipede unite as one as they fight to restore law and order, and bring freedom back to Wishington Farm."
Pepe the Frog became a popular Internet meme after it first appeared in 2005 in an online cartoon called "Boy's Club." While it wasn't originally created with a racist or anti-Semitic tone, it was added to the Anti-Defamation League's database of hate symbols when people it was appropriated by white supremacists and used as racially-charged caricatures, such as Hitler and a Klansman.
News of the book and its content spurred criticism and petitions for Hauser's removal last week.