Thursday, September 24, 2009

Part 2: Obama Appoints 'Fox' to Guard School 'Henhouse'

President Obama's "safe schools czar" (see Part 1 from June) is a former schoolteacher who has advocated promoting homosexuality in schools, written about his past drug abuse, expressed his contempt for religion and detailed an incident in which he did not report an underage student who told him he was having sex with older men.

"Kids are being aggressively recruited to become heterosexual in this country," said Kevin Jennings at a GLSEN event in Iowa in 2000.

UPDATE 10/2/09: National Education Association Defends Jennings

-- From "Critics Assail Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar, Say He's Wrong Man for the Job" by Maxim Lott, 9/23/09

Conservatives are up in arms about the appointment of Kevin Jennings, Obama's director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, saying he is too radical for the job.

Jennings was appointed to the position largely because of his longtime record of working to end bullying and discrimination in schools. In 1990, as a teacher in Massachusetts, he founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which now has over 40 chapters at schools nationwide. He has also published six books on gay rights and education, including one that describes his own experiences as a closeted gay student.

"Jennings was obviously chosen for this job because of the safe schools aspect... defining 'safe schools' narrowly in terms of 'safe for homosexuality'," Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, told

"But at least half of the job involves creating drug-free schools, and we've not been offered any evidence about what qualifications Jennings has for promoting drug-free schools."

Jennings' detractors note that he made four references to his personal drug abuse in his 2007 autobiography, "Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son: A Memoir."

In 1997, according to a transcript put together by Brian J. Burt, managing editor of the student-run Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Jennings said he hoped that promoting homosexuality in schools would be considered fine in the future.

The group Jennings founded has also been accused of promoting homosexuality in schools. At a GLSEN conference in 2000, co-sponsored with the Massachusetts Department of Education, the group landed in hot water when it was revealed that it had included an educational seminar for kids that graphically described some unorthodox sex techniques.

The religious right is also alarmed by Jennings' personal views about religion. In his memoir, he wrote of his views while he was in high school:

"What had [God] done for me, other than make me feel shame and guilt? Squat. Screw you, buddy -- I don't need you around anymore, I decided.

"The Baptist Church had left me only a legacy of self-hatred, shame, and disappointment, and I wanted no more of it or its Father. The long erosion of my faith was now complete, and I, for many years, reacted violently to anyone who professed any kind of religion. Decades passed before I opened a Bible again."

To read the entire very lengthy article, CLICK HERE.