NASHVILLE, ILL. - An Illinois superintendent is in hot water after writing about his high school fantasy involving female volleyball players.
The superintendent of Nashville, Ill. Community High School made the comments in his weekly column in the local paper.
Many community members are now calling for him to step down.
In this weeks Nashville News, columnist, and superintendent Ernie Fowler describes his own experience as a student athlete admiring a young female athlete's body, using provocative terms.
Many didn't believe it until they saw it.
"It just kind of blows me away. That's so unacceptable," said Ginny Klasing, grandparent of a Nashville Community High School freshman.
The topic of Superintendent Fowler's column this week was volleyball. But the focus seemed to be female athletes from his past.
He writes about his experience as a 15-year-old, gazing at a female student's "well-developed assets... hidden under a t-shirt." He then describes the memory as "10 seconds of heaven." He describes himself as a "15-year-old red-blooded boy" who encounters "the blonde-haired, blue eyed girl of my high school fantasy world."
"It's distracting because now you're wondering, 'Is your superintendent checking your body out, your physical being? Is he just letting it go?' What kind of message is it sending to the other younger boys? That it's okay to look and be front and center of the situation?" said Colleen Callan, whose children went to Nashville Community High School.
"Him saying that, looking at them like a piece of meat was kinda bad," said Vicky Heimann, a grandparent.
School officials didn't say much about the uproar.
"We're not at liberty to comment on anything about the column at this point," said Mark Begando, Nashville Community High School Principal.
But residents who have kids and grandkids in the school say they want Fowler to face consequences.
"I think he should apologize in front of the whole school and the parents because that's not right," said Heimann.
"I think he should be questioned at length about that statement. He's in charge of a lot of young girls and young boys. That's just unacceptable," said Klasing.
"I think they should get rid of him," said James Haltenhoff, who has three young daughters.
It's unclear if the school board will take any action against Fowler. But Fowler says he will no longer write his weekly column for the local paper.
Fowler issued an apology on the school's website. It reads:
It would appear that I may have offended some people with my column last week. Let me say that, if
you are one who was offended, I sincerely apologize. My point of view was from a typical 15-year-old
boy as I tried to show the humor in the experience.
During my time here in Nashville, I have written this column simply as a way to show everyone that
I’m human and can laugh at myself. My goal was to bring a smile to the face of someone who might
need a chuckle from time to time. Those of you who know me understand that I am not a “crackpot”
but rather a person who cares deeply about NCHS and the kids who attend here. I have a strong belief in God and try to live a life based on Christian principles.
I always said that if I ever wrote anything that would cause people to think less of me then I would
simply quit writing. That time has come. I want to thank the readers of Nashville News for your kind
support and words of encouragement over the past two years. I will continually strive to help us make
NCHS the best school possible. If being a “columnist” interferes with that mission, then it is time to put
an end to it. Once again, for those of you who were hurt or offended, please accept my humble
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