As the nation was collectively holding its breath over the Kavanaugh testimonies, Soddy Daisy High School, about 25 miles north of Covenant, found itself working through a related dilemma when a school administrator, Jared Hensley, made controversial comments in a school-wide newscast that was later posted to Youtube.
When describing the new dress code rule forbidding students from wearing athletic shorts, Hensley’s advice to disgruntled male students was to “blame the girls, ‘cause they pretty much ruin everything. They ruin the dress code, they—well, ask Adam; look at Eve… you can really go back to the beginning of time.”
The newscast quickly went viral as students and viewers expressed outrage at the comments. Eventually the video was featured on ESPN, and even responded to by Cher, who tweeted, “I Dont remember Women Being Responsible for WW1&2, Priests Abusing [children], Inquisition, Slavery, Holocaust, Napalm?”
In response to the backlash, Hensley was put on administrative leave pending investigation, and Stephen Henry, the principal of Soddy Daisy High School, issued a statement.
In this statement, he said, “As an educator, I believe that all students deserve a high-quality education. In Hamilton County Schools, we are committed to serving all students well… 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. 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. 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.”
Perhaps the most unexpected reactions, however, have been from the students themselves. A group of female students, all class representatives, defended Hensley in an interview with WRCBtv that aired Wednesday, September 26.
The girls claimed in the interview that, although they object to Hensley’s words, they believe it was meant to be a joke, and claim that it does not reflect the administrator’s overall character. Many students from Soddy, in interviews and on social media, are calling for his reinstatement, though many stipulate that some consequences are necessary.
There is no word yet on the official decision of the school in terms of consequences for Hensley.