Tennessee High School Assistant Principal on Leave After Misogynistic Comments

In case you weren’t already convinced that the U.S. has a long way to go before women and men are valued equally, a high school assistant principal in Tennessee declared “Girls ruin pretty much everything”  in a video he made for his students.

Addressing the student body on September 26, Jared Hensley, the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Soddy-Daisy High School near Chattanooga, announced a ban on athletic shorts. 

In the video, entitled “A Helping of Hensley,” he continued, 

“I know, boys, you’re thinking, ‘I don’t understand why, it’s not fair, athletic shorts go past your knees’…If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls. Because they pretty much ruin everything [emphasis mine]. 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. So, it’ll be like that the rest of your life. Get used to it, keep your mouth shut. Suck it up [and] follow the rule.”

As an educator, I am embarrassed and appalled that a fellow educator would make such misogynistic assertions, encouraging the dangerous notion that men are superior beings who are in charge but have to “put up with” girls.

Response to the video was immediate and fierce on social media. Natalie Green, a parent at the school, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “These remarks are blatantly sexist and misogynistic. And do nothing but perpetuate victim-blaming and reinforce the rape culture that is so insidiously ingrained in our society.”

Moms for Social Justice wrote on twitter, “We will NOT stand for this language and sentiment from a school official here in Hamilton County.”

Hamilton County Superintendent Bryan Johnson was forced to agree and by that afternoon he had placed Hensley on administrative leave.

What’s especially depressing about Hensley’s assumptions is that they are not at all surprising, since they reflect the way in which women are still viewed in the U.S. 

Consider just a few examples:

  • Seconds after Senator Dianne Feinstein complained about sexism at the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings on September 27, Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Chairman, rudely interrupted her opening statement.
  • Senator Orrin Hatch, when asked about Christine Blasey Ford, told reporters, “I don’t find her un-credible. I think she’s an attractive, good witness.” When he was asked to clarify, he replied, “In other words, she’s pleasing.”
  • One in six women has been the victim of attempted or completed rape in the U.S. This number should undoubtedly be higher, since it only reflects sexual assaults that have been reported. Most go unreported.
  • A report published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education last year found that nearly 9 in 10 young women between the ages of 18 and 25 had experienced sexual harassment at some point in their young lives.
  • Thanks to the culture of complicity and silence, it took over 20 years for Harvey Weinstein’s blatant abuses of power against women to be uncovered.
  • A quote generally attributed to Elizabeth Warren states, “If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you’re probably on the menu.” That seems to sum up well the male/female inequality issue in the U.S.

The assistant principal at Soddy-Daisy High School is part of a culture that seeks to objectify and demean women.

It’s great that Jared Hensley has been put on administrative leave, but that’s not enough. He must also be fired from his job for his misogynistic comments.

If you agree, please sign my petition demanding that Hamilton County Superintendent Bryan Johnson fire Hensley immediately.

 

 

Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video

40 comments

Justin M
Justin M11 days ago

Thanks

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Dot A
Dot A11 days ago

Sooooo, Are you saying that Eve ruined everything, Shirley S.? Not certain what your comment means. Could you elaborate for clarity for those of us who take interest in the comments? And this is why life is ruined, is because 'pretty much ruin everything?' I am completely perplexed by your approval of such a statement. Thanks if you have a chance to read this and respond. I care, too~

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Karen M
Karen M12 days ago

As a Jr. High teacher for 22 consecutive years, I would tell the girls that boys are nothing but trouble, and get a good education and job, then look at the boys. I would tell the boys that girls are nothing but trouble, and get a good education and job, then look at the girls. Make sure you can take care of yourself before you go looking for trouble. Same thing I told my personal children. Now, blaming girls for not being able to wear basketball shorts has got to have more of a story, and just blaming girls was hopefully only one side of the story, but who knows. I hope this gets resolved.

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill12 days ago

signed.

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Jeanne M
Jeanne M13 days ago

Signed.

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Margarita P
Margarita P13 days ago

Misogyny is alive & well! In a TV commercial, opponents of Senator Claire McCaskill say that she joined Nancy Pelosi & Hillary Clinton in support of some bill.

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Mia B
Mia B13 days ago

signed

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Lisa M
Lisa M13 days ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M13 days ago

Noted.

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Magdalen B
Magdalen B13 days ago

I think he might have been poking fun at the sort of things young boys might say.

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