Substitute Teacher Dismissed For Karaoke Version Of Britney's 'Toxic'

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A substitute teacher in Texas was dismissed for bringing in a karaoke machine and treating students to a cover of “Toxic” by Britney Spears

In today’s edition of “news we never quite saw coming,” a substitute teacher in Texas was dismissed last week after he was recorded by students doing a karaoke version of “Toxic” by Britney Spears, and yes, we have just as many questions as you do.

According to local Austin news outlet KXAN, a substitute teacher from Bowie High School, located in the city’s Independent School District, was asked to leave on Friday, December 3 after bringing in a karaoke machine from home and treating students to an enthusiastic cover of the hit 2003 song, presumably in honor of the pop queen’s 40th birthday, which took place a day earlier on Thursday, December 2. The short snippet includes both live vocals and a colorful strobe light show, as Britney herself truly deserves, of course.

A spokesperson for the school district told KXAN the sub was asked to leave after first period since he “wasn’t following [the district’s] best practices,” adding, “I’ve heard worse Britney Spears covers, but the lights are a bit much.” (Yes, really.)

The outlet cleared up some potential speculation about the incident, including that the unnamed teacher was a registered substitute and was placed on campus by the district to cover a class, and no, he was not posing as a substitute nor was he arrested. The district said he did not have a formal AISD badge but was checked in through the front office through the visitor system, a process that includes a background check. No students were harmed in the incident, thankfully, though we suppose it’s worth noting the song’s sultry lyrics might not be the most appropriate for an impromptu home room karaoke moment.

“All processes were followed, it was simply a case of a substitute not following our practices,” the district said.

They also confirmed he brought the karaoke machine from home and picked up another job at nearby Austin High School after being “relieved of his duty,” though KXAN notes he did manage to perform another song before being asked to leave. With so many incredible hits and deep cuts alike in Britney’s 23-year career, there’s no shortage of crowd pleasers he could’ve picked from.

All jokes aside, we’re glad the students are safe and, assuming there’s nothing more nefarious at play here, this story feels like a refreshingly silly antidote to a barrage of deeply sad, heavy news coming out of schools lately.