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Loper principal caught hanging around school

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Loper staff members remove the second box from underneath Principal Brent Baker’s feet, revealing that students had added enough tape.
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Principal Brent Baker gets a sip of water while being taped to the wall Friday morning.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

Loper Elementary students strolled by on Friday morning as Principal Brent Baker literally hung out in the hallway, taped to the wall to raise money for this year’s Shelby County United Fund For You drive.

Seeing their principal stuck to the wall brought out the students’ inner Jerry Seinfeld.

One student, as Baker was still being taped to the wall, told him he found himself in a “sticky situation.”

Another, after the process of taping Baker up to the wall was complete and the two boxes he had been standing on were removed, asked him, “How’s it hanging?”

And yet another suggested they keep him up there until Spring Break.

“Maybe I can lose some weight that way,” Baker responded with a grin.

Loper students and faculty raised $1,020 for SCUFFY, which has a goal this year of raising $830,000 for 12 local agencies. For each dollar donated, a student could add one piece of tape.

Most brought $1 or $2, but one brought $17, meaning she could place 17 pieces of tape wherever she chose.

Shelby County Co-Op donated eight rolls of tape, but it became pretty clear early on that it would not be enough. So Assistant Principal Lora Nigh ran to Walmart to buy more – the final three rolls in stock.

Baker has been active in raising money for SCUFFY in previous drives.

One year, he shaved his head. Another year, he died it pink. He’s also participated in Donkey Basketball.

“It was fun,” he said after managing to escape the mass quantities of tape, which surprisingly came off easily once he peeled himself off the wall. “It’s good for the kids. It’s a good way to kickstart fundraising for SCUFFY.”

The school’s goal is to raise $4,000 for SCUFFY this year through various events, and Friday’s efforts were a good way to start those efforts off.

As students, with the help of faculty, continued to tape him, he expressed concern that more tape was needed. He spent about two hours stuck to the wall, much of that time instructing students where he needed more tape, and occasionally requesting water through a straw.

But when the moment of truth arrived and the boxes supporting him were removed, Baker hung up there to the delight of students – until he slowly started sliding down and it became clear that his staff needed to get him down.

So they hurriedly ushered students past him, giving the children one final opportunity to see their principal hanging out, until staff members gingerly brought him down.

“Anything to get the kids excited,” he said later. “I’m always looking for ideas. I’ve seen other schools do it so I thought I would do it too.”