Every school year, we come across dozens of stories about female students being shamed or sent home for not dressing according to a school's dress code.
For a while now, this has been one of the most contentious issues for parents, students and educators.
Schools argue that strict dress code rules will help students better succeed, but many parents and students have argued that some of the rules are sexist as they often only seem to target girls.
Tennessee's Soddy-Daisy High School is the latest school to become embroiled in the nationwide dress code controversy after a now-deleted video of the assistant principal's tendentious comments surfaced on YouTube.
"If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls."
Jared Hensley, who is also the athletic director, came under fire after he said that girls "pretty much ruin everything" while discussing the high school's new stricter dress code in a video chat he titled "A Helping of Hensley."
Apparently, male students attending Soddy-Daisy were banned from wearing athletic shorts, and in the video Hensley placed the blame on the female students.
"If you really want someone to blame, blame the girls,” he said. "Because they pretty much ruin everything. 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."
After acknowledging that the boys may think the new rule is unfair, he added, "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."
Hensley then reminded students that PDA within the school's walls is also frowned upon and urged the pupils to "take that down a notch, or ten."
"Take that down a notch, or ten. Save some for the honeymoon,” he said. “No kissing or hugging in the halls. We’ve seen enough. On your own time — well, 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."
It isn't clear if Hensley was serious about the comments he made or if he was attempting to be funny or sarcastic. While some parents and students said they were disgusted by Hensley's comments, others defended him on social media.
Social media backlash
Some wrote that he was indeed joking but it was "not well thought out." They added that he was a "great leader" and cared about the school.
According to People, a few female students even agreed with the assistant principal about girls being responsible for the changes.
“I have NEVER felt victimized or shamed for who/what I am, by Hensley or any other staff member,” wrote one student. “When I look back at the four years I’ve been here, we have gotten athletic shorts taken away every year because of girls who choose to not only push the boundaries, but to break them completely.”
Either way, it backfired. Shortly after the video was uploaded, angry people took to Twitter and the hashtag #FireJaredHensley was born.
#sorrynotsorry but when a person says disrespectful things about another person (or an entire gender) that is not a “joke that didn’t go over well” .. it’s a disrespectful misogynistic speaking. #FireJaredHensley— Abby//havent met Taylor yet.. (@Abbykat) September 29, 2018
How can this man be an educator and leader of boys when he doesn’t even respect women. What is the world coming to.... #FireJaredHensley— SimplyLuz (@neidy1970) September 29, 2018
The district's decision
Hensely has since been placed on administrative leave following a review by the Hamilton County Schools.
Superintendent Bryan Johnson told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the district thought Hensley's comments were "inexcusable."
"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," explained Johnson. "The situation is under investigation, and this employee has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately."
He continued, "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."