LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Leonard Skinner, a high-school gym teacher who became a rock ‘n’ roll footnote by inspiring a group of pupils to name their band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Monday in Jacksonville, Fla., after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the Florida Times-Union reported. He was 77.
Skinner earned the disdain of long-haired students at Robert E. Lee High School during the 1960s by sending them to the principal’s office, where they were handed suspension notices.
One of them — he later believed it was guitarist Gary Rossington — returned with his father who protested that his son needed to have long hair so that he could support the family with his earnings from a band that he played with.
The principal was unmoved, suggesting that youngster get a crew cut and a wig. The band later adopted the name Lynyrd Skynyrd, and went on to achieve worldwide fame with such southern rock anthems as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Freebird.” LINK
Where would the world be without school teachers and administrators to crush our dreams and shatter our hopes???