Students to help chart the course for the future at Soddy Daisy High School Investigation completed into viral video comments
Posted on 10/04/2018
District LogoIt has been a challenging couple of weeks for the Soddy Daisy community with rain, flooding and viral videos dominating the discussion around education in the community. The rain clouds have parted, and the time is now for Hamilton County Schools to work with Soddy Daisy High administration, the staff, and students to focus on a quality high school experience for all students in the community.

The district will work with students at Soddy Daisy High so all voices are heard in seeking improvement in the school culture. The planned discussions will allow students to share their views on the school climate and chart a course so everyone feels valued at Soddy Daisy High School. The discussions will involve Soddy Daisy High student government and representation from the various student groups at the school.

“I wish students would be more aware of the impact each individual’s decision has on others,” said Annabelle Sapp, junior class president. Lily Caldwell, also a junior, added, “We need to learn that we are Soddy Daisy High School and we, as a whole, can keep us going strong.”

The video that went viral last week featuring Assistant Principal Jared Hensley brought national attention to Soddy Daisy and affected the entire community. As a result of the district investigation into the video, Hensley was suspended for ten days without pay. He will also be required to complete a professional growth plan that includes sensitivity training and Title IX training. Hensley will be provided additional district support for development as an administrator.

"Soddy Daisy is a strong community school, and it is our goal to maintain the standard of excellence that has been a part of the community for many years,” said Dr. Neelie Parker, executive director of the North River Learning Community that includes Soddy Daisy High. “All students are important, and this is a teachable moment for positive change at Soddy Daisy."

Work with student groups at Soddy Daisy High School will begin after the fall break. Karen Glenn, director of the STARS (Students Taking a Right Stand) program in the district, will use her experience working with student groups to make a difference in school climate to lead the work at Soddy Daisy High.

Students at Soddy Daisy are looking forward to participating in the process. “I believe that Soddy Daisy High School should come together as a whole to stop the negativity,” said Naikiyon Hughley, a sophomore at the school. “We need to start caring more about individuals and decisions people make because it impacts us as a whole.”

“This has required all of us to take a long hard look at ourselves and reflect on what we can learn from this incident,” said Steven Henry, principal at Soddy Daisy High. “We want to work with our students to create a positive and healthy school culture.”

“We look forward to working with the students and staff at Soddy Daisy High to move the school forward and ensure all feel valued and supported,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “It is our mission to prepare all children for success in life after high school and to provide an atmosphere that will empower all children to reach their potential.”