When you’re the athletic director at a high school, it can’t possibly be a good sign when there’s a news story about you that name-checks Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Bill Cosby, and Brett Kavanaugh.
But that’s the situation in Tennessee, after Soddy-Daisy High School Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Jared Hensley made a video for students explaining the school’s ban on athletic shorts, a restriction he blamed on women. Because, after all, they “ruin everything.”
Few things to address. I don’t think anything’s going on the rest of the week sports-wise, other than some practice and hoping to stay dry, but we need to make sure: athletic shorts. And I know, boys, you’re thinking, you know, “I don’t understand why. It’s not fair. Athletic shorts go past your knees.”
I didn’t make the rules. Well, I kind of did. But that’s the rules. So this is what we’re going to stick to. And that doesn’t mean that you can wear athletic shorts.
So everybody who’s going, “Well, I got a detention for athletic shorts,” that’s what you’re gonna get, and if you don’t serve it, you’re gonna go to Saturday school. So just don’t wear ’em. And if you really want someone to blame, blame the girls. Because they pretty much ruin everything. They ruined the dress code. They ruin… well, ask Adam. Look at Eve. That’s really all you really gotta get to, Okay? 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. Follow the rules.
Speaking of girls and boys, PDA. We’re gonna need to limit that. We’re gonna need to limit that a little bit. Just take that down a notch, okay? Or 10? Alright? Save some for the honeymoon. It’ll be fine. So no — no — no kissing and hugging in the halls. We’ve seen enough. And you know, on your own time, I really wouldn’t do that either on your own time. But as long as it’s not on my time, I’m not gonna be there hovering over you, watching, and I’m not subjected to it.
So, anyway, I hope everybody has a great day. On a serious, serious note, please be careful on the way home. Do not drive fast out of here. Take your time, okay? It’s not… important. There’s nothing so important that we’ve got to drive carelessly. It’s gonna be raining pretty hard, so everybody have a safe day and do get on your benchmarks. See ya.
If any of that was meant to be a joke, good luck figuring out where to laugh. Parents couldn’t figure it out either:
Alicia Whitley, a mother of four Hamilton County students, related Hensley’s comments to the current controversy regarding accusations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted two women.
“This is how… Kavanaugh is getting so much support from the GOP. This nation has made sexism normal and acceptable. People feel like they can say things like this with no repercussions,” Whitley said.
Dawn Sloan Downes said that Hensley’s comments mirrors the messaging that women have been fighting to overcome for decades.
“It mirrors the message society sends when it says a rape victim has ruined a boy’s life because she came forward,” she said. “All of these messages tell girls that the only thing that matters is what men or boys want and that girls themselves, only matter as obstacles preventing boys and men from having what they want.”
Tucker McClendon, school board member for District 8, echoed Lyons’ thoughts.
“I think it was a stupid thing to say. It was inappropriate message,” he said. “I would really like to see an apology to the women of Soddy Daisy and that staff and the women across the county.”
Hensley’s video was taken down from YouTube but not before plenty of people saved it and shared it. Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Bryan Johnson released a statement last night calling the video “inexcusable” and announcing that Hensley had 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.”
It’s the right move on the administration’s part.
I doubt Hensley will get fired over this, but he’ll inevitably issue an apology. The question is how sincere it will be. Will the apology reflect his own understanding of why his comments were so problematic? Or will he do the cop-out thing where he says he’s sorry “if others were offended”?
Another question worth asking is how students are taking this. At least one had only kind words to say about him, which isn’t surprising, but I wonder how many students are as disgusted by his word choices as the adults seem to be.
(Thanks to Tracey for the link)