Food Services Director Jay Nelson suspended him for three days without pay after sending a controversial cartoon,
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
A spokesperson for Metro schools said the district has decided to suspend an employee for forwarding an "inappropriate" email containing a cartoon to a group of female co-workers.
The employee, Food Services Director Jay Nelson, sent the email last month.
The message showed two cavemen under the heading "The Original Sin." The caption read, "I've decided to teach her to talk, what harm could it do?"
In a statement to Nashville's News 2, a spokesperson called the email, "inappropriate, offensive and inconsistent with the district's vision of embracing and valuing a diverse community."
Metro Council's Minority Caucus is also investigating the matter.
"I got a call from five women alleging that there is a hostile work environment in the department where this gentleman, the department head, works. We take those allegations very seriously," Council member Jerry Maynard said.
Dr. Sybril Bennett teaches a social media class at Belmont University.
She told Nashville's News 2 in light of the email incident she often encourages her students to stop and think before sending an email or posting something online.
"You need to think twice. What would my mom think? What would my family think? Is this right? Is this wrong? Will this post or transmission cost me my job?"
The cartoon may have been sent as a joke, but Council member Maynard said it was not funny.
"Bad taste in jokes. I don't agree with any type of discrimination or especially if you are working in an environment where you have different genders, different races [and] different nationalities. You've got to be sensitive to that," he said.
The district has reprimanded Nelson and suspended him for three days without pay as punishment. He is also being reviewed by employee relations.
Nashville's News 2 contacted Metro schools concerning the incident; however they said the district is not commenting on the email because it is a personnel issue.