Jared Hensley, the assistant principal and athletic director of Soddy-Daisy High School in Tennessee, made controversial comments blaming girls for the school’s new dress code in a video posted on YouTube earlier this week.
The video was deleted, but a copy was obtained by the Chattanooga Free Times Press — and the outrage is going viral.
During his tableside chat, Hensley says the school’s new dress code, which banned boys from wearing athletic shorts, was being enforced because “girls pretty much ruin everything.”
“If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls,” he said after acknowledging that the male students may think the new rule is unfair. “Because they pretty much ruin everything. 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.”
Hensley added: “It’ll be like that the rest of your life. Get used to it, just keep your mouth shut, suck it up, follow the rules.”
He also reminded the high school students to “limit” their PDA in the hallways.
“Take that down a notch, or ten. Save some for the honeymoon,” he said. “No kissing or hugging in the halls. We’ve seen enough. On your own time — well, I really wouldn’t do that either on your own time — but as long as it’s not on my time, I’m not gonna be there hovering over you watching and I’m not subjected to it.”
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Hensley has since been placed on administrative leave.
Following the news, many tweeted their disapproval using the hashtag, #FireJaredHensley.
However, other students spoke out on social media defending their assistant principal and athletic director for his joke that was “not well thought out” and said he was a “great leader” who cared deeply for the kids at the school.
Some female students even agreed with Hensley’s comments about female students playing a role in the stricter dress code.
“I have NEVER felt victimized or shamed for who/what I am, by Hensley or any other staff member,” wrote one student. “When I look back at the four years I’ve been here, we have gotten athletic shorts taken away every year because of girls who choose to not only push the boundaries, but to break them completely.”
On Wednesday, the Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Bryan Johnson told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the district had reviewed the video and found Hensley’s comments to be “inexcusable.”
“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,” he said. “The situation is under investigation, and this employee has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately.”
“We hold our employees and our leaders to a high standard, and these comments do not match the high expectations we have for our employees,” Johnson continued. “We seek to prepare all children for success in life after high school and expect our employees to provide an atmosphere that will empower all children to reach their full potential.”
Anyone who makes such openly sexist comments shouldn’t be in any position of authority.