The athletic director and assistant principal of a Tennessee high school is out on leave after he suggested male students “blame the girls” for an unpopular dress code policy because they “ruin everything.”
Jared Hensley was placed on leave from Soddy-Daisy High School, about 20 miles north of Chattanooga, after he made the comments in a video that sparked backlash Wednesday.
In the clip, Hensley introduces a ban on athletic shorts as part of a new dress code policy.
The educator senses that the opinion is going to be an unpopular one, and offers up a scapegoat: female students.
“I know, boys, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t understand why,’” he said. “If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls. ‘Cause they pretty much ruin everything. They ruin the dress code, they ruin… Ask Adam, look at Eve. That’s really all you gotta get to.
“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. Just keep your mouth shut, suck it up (and) follow the rules.”
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the clip, titled “A Helping of Hensley,” was a segment in a student-produced broadcast that also included various other announcements and information.
Shortly after they hit YouTube in a since-deleted video, Hensley’s comments drew backlash from users on social media who deemed them misogynistic and harmful.
“I don’t care if Jared Hensley is a ‘nice man,’” wrote a Twitter user who claimed to be an alum of the school. “There’s some things you just don’t joke about.”
Hamilton County Superintendent Bryan Johnson said in a statement that Hensley’s comments were “inexcusable” and did not align with the district’s values.
“The situation is under investigation, and this employee has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately,” the statement read. “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.”
One local parent with four children in the school system likened the sexist comments to the current political climate, namely the sexual assault accusations facing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“This is how Kavanaugh is getting so much support from the GOP,” the mother told the Times Free Press. “This nation has made sexism normal and acceptable. People feel like they can say things like this with no repercussions.”
Still, Hensley did find some support in female students like senior class vice president Paige Dunny, who said that the comments weren’t indicative of his behavior toward women.