It Wasn’t Me

The news broke yesterday that one of the professors who taught at my Alma Mater has resigned over allegations of “serious misconduct.”

According to a statement made by Taylor University:

Fourteen years ago (2004), a complaint was filed against Dr. Dennis Hensley by a student. Although the investigation at that time yielded conflicting stories, Hensley was disciplined and cautioned. During the next 14 years, two potential conduct concerns came to the university’s attention, neither of which involved students…

Recently we were made aware of significant and credible allegations of serious misconduct by Hensley. Although these allegations did not involve Taylor students or employees, we promptly commenced an investigation… On the same day that he was notified of his suspension, Hensley offered an unsolicited and unconditional resignation from Taylor University, which we accepted.

I don’t know what this means…

But I DO know what people are hearing.

They’re hearing, “A male teacher was allowed to prey upon his students over the course of 14 years because no one believed the girl who filed the complaint in 2004…”

Any maybe that’s true.  Maybe he left a trail of abuse victims wherever he went.

I just feel it’s necessary to go on record saying: Dr. Hensley never behaved inappropriately toward me.  At least, I don’t think he did.

Maybe it would be helpful to explain what the University means by “serious misconduct,” so I can be sure.


 

In all of my memories of Hensley, he was….simply… odd.  He talked too loud.  He repeated the same stories over and over.  And he seemed to lack the social awareness which tells most of us how we’re being received.

Most of the time, I got the impression that Dr. Hensley learned how to interact with people the way I learned to do math: relying heavily on formulas explained to me by others.

All of Hensleys “relationships” with his favorite students (and–yes–he definitely played favorites) seemed awkward and unnatural to me. 

Did some of those “relationships” cross a line into “serious misconduct?”

Perhaps.  I wish I knew what qualifies as “serious.”

I remember when Dr. Hensley found out I was engaged to marry Luke.  Hensley wasn’t very happy about it.  The exact quote has faded over the years, but I recall being told something like, “Girls often get married and then slack off in their studies.”

For a couple months after warning me that I shouldn’t let marriage become a distraction, my arbitrarily-assigned A’s and B’s started slipping into arbitrarily-assigned C’s.

Until one day after chapel, when Dr. Hensley rushed up to me and presented a magazine he’d taken straight from his mailbox.  He called over his shoulder, “I saw it and thought of you!” as he continued flying down the sidewalk at roughly 100 mph. (That was average Hensley speed.)

For a second I was confused, before realizing the magazine said “bride” in the corner.  “Good!” I thought, assuming this strange offering meant he was beginning to accept my future status as a married woman.

Sure enough, my grades improved again after that day.

Is it wrong to allow your disapproval of a student’s personal life to influence the way you grade her writing?   Yeah–probably.

Is it “serious misconduct”?

Meh, I never thought so.


 

Anyway, all of this to say, I don’t know how many female students will be coming forward in the next few weeks to testify that Dr. Hensley shared inappropriate jokes, or stood too close while whispering something that didn’t need to be whispered, or generally made them feel uncomfortable.

I’m not sure how many women will come forward and testify things even more “serious” than any of that.

But, I know how gossip works, and I know there will be students from the past 14 years playing their own sordid game of “Guess Who” with big question marks over all the girls’ faces, including my own.

So, in the spirit of #MeToo, I want to make a public declaration by saying #NotMe. 

From my perspective, Dr. Hensley wasn’t a life-changing mentor. He was more of a salesman than a writer… and more of a quirky acquaintance than a father figure.  But, in my experience, being weird never crossed into being evil.

And being weird isn’t “serious misconduct.”

Boy–it sure would be nice to know what that means…

9 thoughts on “It Wasn’t Me

  1. Μιχαήλ (Michael) | Nothing is impossible with God!

    Thanks for the insight about all of this. I’ve become a fan of what we have traditionally known as “due process”. While Taylor is a private corporation, I think it would help if more of us insisted on:

    An unbiased tribunal.
    Notice of the proposed action and the grounds asserted for it, made in public, not in private.
    The opportunity to present reasons for the proposed action not to be taken.
    The right to present evidence, including the right to call witnesses.
    The right to know the opposing evidence.
    The right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
    A decision based only on the evidence presented.
    Opportunity to be represented by counsel.
    The tribunal to prepare a record of the evidence presented.
    The tribunal to prepare written findings of fact and the reasons for its decision.

    Be blessed!

    Like

    Reply
    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      There is no due process when a woman accuses a man of sexual assault…

      He will wear that label for life, regardless.

      I’ve already seen Facebook posts and tweets saying, “I never had any sexual experiences with him, but I’m not surprised!”

      What does THAT mean?!

      I’m not surprised, either, that a man with no social skills is finally being accused in the age of #MeToo–and he has absolutely no idea how serious it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Μιχαήλ (Michael) | Nothing is impossible with God!

        Of course, that is true … today. I worry about what I call the hordes. They change over time but they tend to come. Maybe they aren’t coming after me today but what will happen when “public opinion” changes. And it will.

        Gays had no rights 20 years ago. The hords hounded them. Straights have no rights today. The hords come after us. Who is next?

        One day the Jews were singing Hosanna as Jesus entered Jerusalem. A few days later the same hordes called for his death. They got what the wanted. The hordes tend to win. It isn’t what is right. It was is popular … today.

        The list goes on and on. The times are changing but they always do. Be careful of the hordes!

        Or … advocate for some kind of due process, even in private organizations.

        Then again … I could be way off base! 🙂

        Be blessed.

        Like

  2. Juan DeVevo

    sometimes I want to upvote these after reading but have nothing to comment. So…this is good…Universities want to cover themselves and as such act like corporations or politicians and speak vague terms so that scrutiny can be rebutted easily.

    Like

    Reply
    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Universities practice slimey political tactics, yes. They want to cover themselves. But I can see how they would feel damned if they did AND if they didn’t.

      On the other hand, Dr. Hensley gave a statement to the press that was much more direct–and which people are interpreting as cold and calloused.

      Unlike Universities, he doesn’t have legal counsel and entire departments dedicated to PR. What he said was the kind of thing a predator might say. It’s ALSO the kind of thing a strange little man would say when he’s utterly clueless about the seriousness of being accused of sexual misconduct in this culture. He still thinks he’s innocent until proven guilty.

      It’s hard to fault the Universities for playing the vague, rear-covering “game” when we can see what happens when a person doesn’t know he’s supposed to.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. insanitybytes22

    One of these days we’ll have to sit down to coffee and chat about your rampant misogyny. 🙂

    I’m chuckling here, I definitely share some of that same heart, but I also spent a number of years working as a sexual assault advocate, so the truth is kind of undeniable and embedded in my soul. So too is the icky feminist agenda that seems far more interested in attacking the church and seeking revenge against all men, then in actually healing women and girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Vengeance is the New Justice | Cultures at War

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