Second lady Jill Biden was an early supporter of Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings. Late this spring in New York City, Vice President Joe Biden’s wife addressed Mr. Jennings’ former organization known as the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)(AUDIO):
“Change is not easy especially when it comes to ending bigotry and fear, but I am confident that together, we will succeed. That is why I am proud to tell you that the Obama Biden administration shares your commitment to making sure that every student has a safe school. Each child, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, deserves an education.
Recently, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan met with student leaders met with GLSEN student leaders for improving our schools and starting next month Secretary Duncan will have an excellent partner in this work. Someone you all know well. GLSEN founder Kevin Jennings. Kevin’s going to become the assistant deputy secretary of education and will handle our safe and drug free schools program.
I want to thank GLSEN for your (inaudible) work on safe schools. Your (GLSEN’s) research has shown the extent of bullying and harassment and your training programs have shown that there are ways that we can make things better. None of us can stand by and let bigotry go unchallenged. We have a responsibility to create an America where all students: gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender have access to quality education in a safe school environment. Our children deserve no less. Thank you.”
Mr. Jennings is at the center of a controversy involving his time as a teacher at a Massachusetts prep school. His handling of issues involving a 15-year old homosexual student who was having a relationship with an older man is being questioned.
A recent Washington Times editorial pointed out:
According to Mr. Jennings’ own description in a new audiotape discovered by Fox News, the 15-year-old boy met the “older man” in a “bus station bathroom” and was taken to the older man’s home that night. When some details about the case became public, Mr. Jennings threatened to sue another teacher who called his failure to report the statutory rape “unethical.” Mr. Jennings’ defenders asserted that there was no evidence that he was aware the student had sex with the older man.
However, the new audiotape contradicts this claim. In 2000, Mr. Jennings gave a talk to the Iowa chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, an advocacy group that promotes homosexuality in schools. On the tape, Mr. Jennings recollected that he told the student to make sure “to use a condom” when he was with the older man. That he actively encouraged the relationship is reinforced by Mr. Jennings’ own description in his 1994 book, “One Teacher in 10.” In that account, the teacher boasts how he allayed the student’s concerns about the relationship to such a degree that the 15-year-old “left my office with a smile on his face that I would see every time I saw him on the campus for the next two years, until he graduated.”
(Audio h/t wthrockmorton.com)
In the meantime, Rep. Steve King(R-IA) today has demanded that President Obama fire Mr. Jennings.