Kevin Jennings hasn’t come clean. There are still many unanswered questions about how he handled a high-school sophomore who he said confessed to a homosexual relationship with an older man.
On Friday, Brewster came forward and gave a statement to Media Matters, a group with clear partisan ties to Democrats, in which the former student corrected Mr. Jennings’ statement of his age and denied any sexual relationship. That, CNN and the Obama administration claim, is the end of the controversy.
The new information creates as many questions as it answers. Some of Brewster’s claims contradict Mr. Jennings’ 2000 speech to a Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network conference in Iowa. Mr. Jennings said his meeting with Brewster occurred during the beginning of the 1987 school year; Brewster said that it occurred in 1988. Mr. Jennings claimed that the boy had engaged in sex; Brewster says he didn’t.
Mr. Jennings’ defenders assert that there is no problem now because Brewster says he didn’t have sex with an “older man.” But no one, including a senior Obama administration official in the Department of Education, can explain why Mr. Jennings would manufacture a sexual relationship. This wasn’t an extraneous story. He used the tale on multiple occasions to expound on the problems of homosexual students. This has been Mr. Jennings’ pet cause for two decades. Mr. Jennings’ defenders cannot accept Brewster’s statements without an explanation why Mr. Jennings would make up this story - a story so key to his message.
Whether Brewster was 15 years old or just turned 16, a sophomore having sex with an older man he met at a bus station bathroom should have raised alarm. Mr. Jennings’ story details how he found Brewster asleep in a school dormitory when he should have been in class. The student blamed his skipped class on a night spent with the “older man.”
In addition, Brewster’s statement demonstrates that “Robertson” - another student whose sexual “adventures” appear in Mr. Jennings’ accounts of his days as a teacher - is not simply another pseudonym for Brewster. An Obama appointee in the Department of Education had no explanation for this and other clear differences indicating that Robertson was another young student that Mr. Jennings simply advised to use a condom without any warnings about dangerous relationships.
Last week, Brewster accused those raising concerns about this issue of engaging in “homophobic smear attacks.” That’s not the case. A teacher ignoring a female sophomore’s confession that she met an older man in a bathroom and then went home with him raises similar concerns. When Obama administration officials can’t explain Mr. Jennings’ comments, it is time for Mr. Jennings to answer some of these questions himself.