Schools official suspended 3 days for sending 'offensive' email

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 5:27pm
Staff reports

Metro Nashville Public Schools has suspended Food Services Director Jay Nelson for forwarding an “offensive” email to other school employees last month.

The MNPS employee relations office deemed the email to be “inappropriate, offensive and inconsistent with the district’s vision of embracing and valuing a diverse community.” MNPS officials said Nelson was reprimanded and suspended for three days without pay.

The email, sent on Dec. 14, depicts two cavemen under a heading that reads “The Original Sin.” The caption says: “I’ve decided to teach her to talk, what harm could it do?”


16 Comments on this post:

By: FLeFew on 1/25/12 at 8:40

I guess humor is taboo now with the advent of the PC world.

By: spooky24 on 1/26/12 at 4:59

Meanwhile 61 more juveniles entered the adult prison system in Tennessee, youngest being age 15.
I find that offensive, however the School Board thinks it's just fine.


By: freddiebegood on 1/26/12 at 6:31

Doesn't the board have more important issues on which to focus?

By: jsnap on 1/26/12 at 8:22

I know now why the school system is in the shape it is in. The school board members surely do not get paid for making long and hard decisions like this, do they?

By: TimSkow on 1/26/12 at 9:03

Tim Skow

By: TimSkow on 1/26/12 at 9:06

If it had been 2 women talking about teaching a man to talk... that would have been considered .... "funny"... and politically acceptable. .... and NONE of this would be in the "news"... Send the man back work !

By: jonw on 1/26/12 at 10:15


P.C. gone wild. Humor is stifled. What a dreary world without it!

By: localboy on 1/26/12 at 11:24

A director of schools, a board member and an MNPS teacher walk into a bar...

By: morpheus120 on 1/26/12 at 4:36

So as soon as Jesse Register starts running around telling everyone that there's no more unions in the schools, we see Mr. Nelson give us the perfect example of why the workers in the schools want and need a union.

Between this and the firing of 700 (mostly African-American) custodians last year, it seems pretty obvious what Jesse and his good 'ol boys think of the people working for them.

THIS is how we run a school system in Nashville now?

Maybe its time to start a recall petition on Jesse and vote out the yesmen on that worthless School Board.

By: global_citizen on 1/27/12 at 7:31

Jokes about men, and jokes about women are as old as the cavemen. Are administrators and people in positions of power really this humorless and easily offended? I think some people need to get a life. Really.

By: morpheus120 on 1/27/12 at 8:33

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that pretty much all the "get over it" posters on this thread are men. Probably men who have sent emails like this to their friends or co-workers at some point. My husband has done the same thing.

But all of you are missing the point.

Jay Nelson oversees a taxpayer-funded program that employs hundreds of women. He has a higher responsibility - both as a manager and as a public official - to set a good example and be respectful of his employees.

That's a little different than "TimSkow" and "jonw" sending a silly email to their drinking buddies or their brother in law.

Presumably, Jay Nelson - who is college-educated and has done this work for a while - would if nothing else, have used a little common sense before he hit "send". Clearly, Nelson has poor judgement and frankly, I don't want someone with that kind of bad judgement using my tax dollars to pay for his six-figure salary. Surely we can find someone as qualified (or more qualified) as Nelson who knows how to communicate appropriately with employees.

Nelson's responsibilities to the taxpayers are to know how to manage people properly, motivate them, organize their work, and deal with employee issues in a responsible manner. I see no evidence that he is doing that by sending out this email to his female subordinates. Only an idiot or a conservative (same thing IMHO) can't see that.

And if I was to put money down, I'd bet that this isn't the only time that Mr. Nelson has done something inappropriate and unprofessional like this.

By: tdterry1999 on 1/27/12 at 8:58

The same ones who found it offensive are more than likley to have sent e-mail's out thereselfs.Matter of fact alot of them at the board have sent out the same type of jokes.The board needs to suspend them also.Or maybe they think only a man can be offensive.

By: Left-of-Local on 1/27/12 at 9:28

Who gives a damn if some good ole boy gets suspended for having a faulty interpretation of the rules his employers agreed to with him upon his hire?

Even if harmless, this teaches an important lesson: Know your audience. It is the FIRST rule of comedy, and all the experts here should remember that. This is also a lesson in old people forwarding every dingbat thing that hits their email boxes to everyone they know - an irritating generational gap that those of us in our 30s are happy to see punished in the public eye.

Hell, maybe while he's suspended, the food will accidentally get more nutritious, or one of the those dumb women he's busy looking down on will take over and do a better job.

By: tdterry1999 on 1/27/12 at 4:06

morpheus120 what about the women who sent out the same type of jokes.Should they not face the same fate Jay Nelson did.If you knew anything about the board ,you would know this is just a power play.

By: C.A.Jones on 1/27/12 at 10:36

Am I the only one that find relief knowing that these women who were so offended were at least in the kitchen where they belong?

JOKING!!!! Don't get all butt hurt and suspend me for 3 days too!!

By: Shadow63 on 1/28/12 at 12:21

Sounds like B/S to me!