Soddy-Daisy High School Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Jared Hensley probably wants a do-over after a video he made for the student body this morning got him put on administrative leave this afternoon.
In a video address to students called “A Helping of Hensley,” he announces a ban on athletic shorts. Using a lilting delivery in his voice, he acknowledges that boys will be unhappy about it, but he says he made the rule.
And he adds, “If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls, because they pretty much ruin everything”.
“Ask Adam, look at Eve … You can really go back to the beginning of time.”
In the video, which was posted to YouTube and then taken down, but then uploaded by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Hensley continues on from the biblical metaphor: “It’ll be like that the rest of your life, keep your mouth shut, suck it up and follow the rules.”
Social media backlash
His message prompted a sharp backlash on social media, with users calling his comments unacceptable and misogynistic and calling on their followers to contact Hamilton County Schools to let their displeasure be known.
Among those making their voices heard is Maria E. Vives-Rodriguez, whose Twitter bio says she is an “early childhood consultant” in Chattanooga. She posted, “these sort of misogynistic comments are inappropriate and that you want this administrator to be held accountable.” Meanwhile @ActhungCasey says, “There is nothing funny about this. This is sexism and modeling this kind of ‘joking’ is harmful.”
And the Chattanooga-based @momsforsocialjustice said on Twitter, “We will NOT stand for this language and sentiment from a school official here in Hamilton County.”
This afternoon Hamilton County Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson issued a statement, announcing that Hensley had been put on leave.
Johnson’s statement said, in part: “We have reviewed the video content. 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.”
Hensley also addresses PDA
Later in the “Helping of Hensley” video, he tells the students to cut down on “PDA” (public displays of affection). Employing the same rhythmic cadence to his voice as before, he says, “Take that down a notch, or 10, save some for the honeymoon, it’ll be fine. No kissing and hugging in the halls, we’ve seen enough.”
Then Hensley pivots to a more somber tone in his address to conclude, “On a serious, serious note, please be careful on the way home,” he says, pointing out the hard rain that plagued Soddy-Daisy.