A Tennessee high school athletic director — Jared Hensley — has been placed on administrative leave after blaming female students for changes to the schools dress code in a video addressed to the student body, according to the Times Free Press.
Hansley told students of Soddy-Daisy High School, “I know, boys, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t understand why, it’s not fair, athletic shorts go past your knees’ … If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls. Because they pretty much ruin everything,” Hensley said. “They ruin the dress code, they ruin… well, ask Adam. Look at Eve. That’s really all you really gotta get to, OK. You can really go back to the beginning of time. So, it’ll be like that the rest of your life. Get used to it, keep your mouth shut, suck it up [and] follow the rule.”
The video disturbed parents after they saw the video — which has since been removed from YouTube — prompting the backlash that led to Hensley being placed on leave.
“We find the comments about young women in this video inexcusable, as the sentiments expressed do not align with the values of Hamilton County Schools. The situation is under investigation, and this employee has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately,” Hamilton County Schools superintendent Bryan Johnson said.
Soddy-Daisy High School's athletic director Jared Hensley was placed on leave after a video featuring comments he made went viral.https://t.co/Av87zJpR0F— Times Free Press (@TimesFreePress) September 26, 2018
The reaction to Hensley’s placement has been mixed, however.
Alicia Whitley — the mother of four Hamilton County students — related Hensley’s remarks to the current Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault by five different women.
“This is how we Kavanaugh is getting so much support from the GOP. This nation has made sexism normal and acceptable. People feel like they can say things like this with no repercussions,” Whitley told the Times Free Press.
Whitley said that her 12-year-old son was “flabbergasted” when he saw the video.
Rhonda Thurman — a Soddy-Daisy’s school board representative — told reporters that she feels the community has bigger issues to worry about than a school administrator’s comments on the school’s dress code.
“There’s a lot going on right now to be worried about this in Soddy-Daisy. I’m having a real hard time getting upset about this. I’m not worried about that right now. He meant absolutely no harm by this,” she said. “This is so ridiculous. Can nobody take a joke anymore? He was just talking to the kids in their language and trying to be funny.”
Paige Dunny — a current student at Soddy-Daisy High School — told reporters that she feels many students support Hensley.
“I personally know Mr. Hensley and would like to say that he is one of the most supportive and nicest people/men I know. To put it into specifics, I had his gym class before he was vice principal and not once was he sexist or treated us any less because we were girls,” Dunny said in an email. “There are many who stand behind him. I’d hate to see such a wonderful man lose something he cares so much about over a comment that he didn’t mean. While distasteful, it doesn’t give a glimpse into the man he actually is.”
This is OUR Vice Principal, Jared Hensley this afternoon during the chaos of the downpour and severe weather making sure everyone gets home safely. You cannot tell me that this man doesn’t care for the students of Soddy Daisy High School. #teamhensley pic.twitter.com/YCMRj4RjUb— Gavin Chambers (@gav_chambers) September 26, 2018
Other students have taken to Twitter to express their support for Hensley, with one user named Gavin Chambers tweeting, “This is OUR Vice Principal, Jared Hensley this afternoon during the chaos of the downpour and severe weather making sure everyone gets home safely. You cannot tell me that this man doesn’t care for the students of Soddy Daisy High School.
The full video that Hensley made for students is below: