Case of the ‘safe schools’ czar

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

The me­dia is try­ing to keep this story in the closet, but it’s im­por­tant not to wink at all the se­ri­ous prob­lems sur­round­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s con­tro­ver­sial “safe schools czar,” Kevin Jen­nings.

Mr. Jen­nings is the moral male­fac­tor who gave a speech about how he merely ad­vised a 15-year-old high­school sopho­more who was hav­ing sex with an older man that, “I hope you knew to use a con­dom.”

He knew the boy had met the adult in a bus-sta­tion re­stroom. Mr. Jen­nings also ex­pressed ad­mi­ra­tion for Harry Hay, a no­to­ri­ous and ex­tremely prom­i­nent sup­porter of the North Amer­i­can Man Boy Love As­so­ci­a­tion. “One of the peo­ple that’s al­ways in­spired me is Harry Hay,” he said. De­spite nu­mer­ous re­quests to the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion and Mr. Jen­nings, we have not re­ceived any an­swers to in­quiries about th­ese trou­bling is­sues.

Now rev­e­la­tions have sur­faced that Mr. Jen­nings not only thought there was noth­ing wrong with boys hav­ing sex with older men (or girls hav­ing sex with older women), but he also played a role in pro­mot­ing such re­la­tion­ships.

In 1990, Mr. Jen­nings founded the Gay and Les­bian In­de­pen­dent School Teach­ers Net­work, which later be­came the Gay, Les­bian and Straight Ed­u­ca­tion Net­work (GLSEN). He was the group’s first full-time staffer and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, a po­si­tion he held un­til Au­gust 2008.

One of GLSEN’s tasks was to put to­gether lists of sug­gested read­ings for K-through-12 stu­dents and their teach­ers. The read­ing lists cat­e­go­rize books by the ages for which they pur­port­edly are ap­pro­pri­ate. The or­ga­ni­za­tion Web site re­as­sures us, “All Book­Link items are re­viewed by GLSEN staff for qual­ity and ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of con­tent.”

Some of th­ese shock­ing read­ings clearly pro­mote ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity and promis­cu­ity. Con­sider what GLSEN put for­ward as ap­pro­pri­ate for chil­dren 13 years or older. Eleven of the rec­om­mended books were ex­am­ined by Scott Baker from Bre­it­ and re-ex­am­ined by The Wash­ing­ton Times. Nu­mer­ous pas­sages dis­cuss kids hav­ing sex with adults. Many of the sex­ual dis­cus­sions and scenes are too ex­plicit for us to pub­lish, so what fol­lows are greatly san­i­tized ver­sions.

In “Queer 13,” the book de­scribes a 13-year-old boy who has sex­ual en­coun­ters with older men. His ex­pe­ri­ence caused him to des­per­ately want sex. “While my class­mates won­dered what sex was like, con­tent to mas­tur­bate over pin­ups, I was out there hav­ing my [ex­plicit de­scrip­tions of hav­ing oral sex and be­ing sodom­ized]. Th­ese were grown men I was trick­ing with. Some were nice, grate­ful for a young boy to have their way with. Some were harsh and mean. [. . .] That feel­ing of do­ing it to them and them do­ing the same for me was just too damn good.”

In “Pas­sages of Pride,” a 15-yearold boy has sex with a much older man. The boy says, “It wasn’t a bad thing. I didn’t nec­es­sar­ily know it would turn into sex. But I knew what I was do­ing.” The boy claims that he was “not in­tim­i­dated by the dis­crep­ancy in their ages.”

“Grow­ing Up Gay/Grow­ing Up Les­bian” de­tails a 15-year-old boy’s re­la­tion­ship with “a much older man.” And in “In Your Face,” one 16-yearold boy has sex with a 25-year-old man, and an­other 16-year-old boy has sex with mul­ti­ple men. Four of the other seven books on the read­ing list con­tain pas­sages of chil­dren hav­ing sex.

The read­ings try to make sex be­tween chil­dren and adults seem nor­mal and ac­cept­able. Be­ing ex­ploited by ho­mo­sex­ual pe­dophiles is por­trayed as some­thing that can make chil­dren happy and ful­filled. Per­haps Mr. Jen­nings will claim he was too busy to check what his or­ga­ni­za­tion was rec­om­mend­ing chil­dren read. Ei­ther way, this is not a man who should have been ap­pointed by the White House to make schools safe.

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