Tennessee school official on leave following sexist video

By William Feola
On October 8, 2018

Graphic by Olivia Mendez, The Ramapo News Graphic Department

A Tennessee high school official was placed on administrative leave last week after he posted a sexist video online targeted towards young girls.

Jared Hensley, who is the athletic director and assistant principal at Soddy-Daisy high school, created a video for the student body called “A Helping of Hensley,” where he announced a ban on athletic shorts. He said that while boys will be upset about it, he had to make the rule and it’s because of the girls in the school.

"If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls, because they pretty much ruin everything," Hensley said. "Ask Adam, look at Eve - you can really go back to the beginning of time. It'll be like that the rest of your life, keep your mouth shut, suck it up and follow the rules."

Later that afternoon, the school announced that they put Hensley on leave.

"We have reviewed the video content," Johnson said in a statement. "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."

There was serious amounts of backlash that came from this video, especially on social media, where the video blew up. Parents and others called the comments misogynistic and unacceptable and urged everyone to call the school to voice their displeasure.

After making the sexist comments, Henley went on to joke later in the video that students needed to stop kissing and hugging in the hallways and to “save it for the honeymoon.” He then developed a serious tone, telling the students to get home safely because of the heavy amounts of rain Soddy-Daisy was experiencing.

The video, which can still be found online, was taken down by the school after it was originally posted on YouTube.

Despite being put on administrative leave, many people from the school, including English teacher Link Sparks and senior class vice president Paige Dunny, came out to support Hensley and his character. In separate Facebook posts, the two defended him, saying that he is a great man, a great person and a great role model for the people at the school.

While Hensley may be a great role model to some, he deserved his punishment and his comments have no place in our society. I don’t believe that he should lose his job, but some sort of sensitivity training should suffice in order to ensure that he realizes that words mean things and that he has a huge influence over the school.

In a time where women are finally feeling comfortable speaking about abuses in their lives, these kinds of comments are extremely harmful.

Even if it was a joke, it’s was neither appropriate nor funny. Men already discredit women enough, the last thing they need is to be blamed for everything else.


wfeola@ramapo.edu

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