President Obama's "Safe Schools Czar" [Kevin Jennings], already a target of social conservatives for his past drug abuse and what they say is his promotion of homosexuality in schools, is under fresh attack after it was revealed that the pro-gay group he formerly headed recommends books his critics say are pornographic.
-- From "Obama's Safe Schools Czar Tied to Lewd Readings for 7th Graders" by Maxim Lott, FOXNews.com 12/14/09
The group under fire is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which Kevin Jennings, now the assistant deputy secretary for safe and drug-free schools in the Department of Education, founded and ran from 1990 to 2008.
GLSEN says it works to create a welcoming atmosphere for homosexual students in schools, and that effort includes recommending books for students of all ages.
But critics say many of the books, particularly some that are targeted for children between Grades 7 to 12, are inappropriately explicit. A full list is available at the blog Gateway Pundit, which has published dozens of controversial passages from the books.
"Reflections of a Rock Lobster" was recommended in 1995, the year Jennings became GLSEN's first executive director; "Passages of Pride" made the list in 1997 and "Queer 13" in 1999. Those are just three out of over 100 books that GLSEN has recommended for students in grades 7-12 since 1990, and all three remain on GLSEN's recommended reading list.
. . . guidelines, listed on each book recommendation page, read: "All BookLink items are reviewed by GLSEN staff for quality and appropriateness of content. However, some titles for adolescent readers contain mature themes. We recommend that adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability."
But critics say the guidelines themselves are damning, because they confirm that GLSEN staff have checked the books for appropriateness. And Jennings, they point out, was in charge at the time.
Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton declined to comment about Jennings' role in recommending the books.
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