LAKEWOOD – A roar of approval filled the air as Craig Williams Elementary School Principal Dr. Michael Remland puckered up Thursday to kiss a pot-bellied pig named Miss Ida Mae to reward students for collecting 1,000 good-behavior slips.
“The kids loved it. There was a roar of applause, and Ida Mae squealed her heart out,” Remland said.
Nearly 800 students, staff and parents gathered to watch the pig kissing during the school’s regular flag salute. The event rewarded students for making positive choices that earned them PAWS slips. The slips are part of Bellflower Unified School District’s Positive Behavioral and Intervention and Supports (PBIS) discipline system. PBIS emphasizes positive reinforcement of good behavior.
For a moment, though, Ida Mae seemed uncertain about the stunt.
“Ida Mae had a red carpet to walk out on, but when the students saw her there was a loud cheer and Ida Mae went the other way,” Remland said.
But the pig’s owner – Bellflower Unified teacher Cindy Weeks – soothed Ida Mae while Remland coated his lips with lip balm. Then, students counted down until Remland planted a smacker on Ida Mae’s snout.
Remland said it was his first time kissing a pig, but added that he’ll always go whole hog when it comes to inspiring his students.
“For the right purpose, I’ll shave my head clean,” Remland pledged.
BUSD_PIG_1: Craig Williams Elementary Principal Dr. Michael Remland poses with Miss Ida Mae, the pig he kissed to reward students for good behavior on March 24.
BUSD_PIG_2: Craig Williams Elementary Principal Dr. Michael Remland kisses Miss Ida Mae, a pot-bellied pig, to reward students for good behavior.
VIDEO: Click here for a short video of the pig kissing.