Tennessee lawmaker resigns after violating harassment policy

Tennessee Lawmaker Resigns After Violating Harassment Policy

Tennessee State Representative David Byrd has resigned from his position after violating the state’s harassment policy. Byrd, who represents the 71st district, was accused of sexual misconduct by three women who were former basketball players at Wayne County High School, where Byrd was their coach in the 1980s.

The allegations against Byrd first surfaced in 2018, when the women came forward with their stories. They claimed that Byrd had touched them inappropriately and made sexual advances towards them when they were teenagers. Byrd initially denied the allegations, but later apologized for his behavior in a statement.

Despite the allegations, Byrd was re-elected to his position in 2020. However, in February of this year, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to expel Byrd from his position on the Education Committee due to the allegations against him.

Following the vote, Byrd announced that he would not seek re-election in 2022. However, on July 14th, he announced that he would be resigning from his position effective immediately.

In a statement, Byrd said, “I have made the difficult decision to resign from my position as State Representative for the 71st district. I apologize to my constituents for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause. I also apologize to the women who have come forward with allegations against me. I take full responsibility for my actions and I am deeply sorry for any harm that I have caused.”

Byrd’s resignation comes amid a wave of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against politicians and public figures across the country. The #MeToo movement, which began in 2017, has brought attention to the issue of sexual harassment and assault, and has led to increased scrutiny of those in positions of power.

The allegations against Byrd are a reminder that sexual harassment and misconduct can happen in any workplace, including in politics. It is important for employers and organizations to have clear policies in place to prevent and address harassment, and for individuals to speak out when they experience or witness inappropriate behavior.

Byrd’s resignation is a step towards accountability for his actions, but it is also a reminder that there is still work to be done to create a safe and respectful workplace for all.