Obama Administration Specifically Recruited Homosexual Activist to Be 'Safe Schools Czar'
Jennings became a lightning rod of controversy last year because he was the co-founder and president for a decade of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which promoted homosexual clubs in high schools.
Moreover, Jennings has been scrutinized for how he handled a 1988 incident by advising a 15-year-old to use a condom in a sexual affair with an older adult man, rather than reporting the possible case of statutory rape to authorities.
Though both matters were well-documented, it was the Obama administration that reached out to him to fill the office of assistant deputy education secretary for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
“President Obama got elected and they were looking for someone to run the safe schools program, and since I worked to make schools safe, they asked me if I would take the job,” Jennings said in a speech last week at the National Press Club.
It was one of his rare public appearances since taking the post.
“Honestly, I never, ever saw myself in public office – it wasn’t an aspiration I’ve ever had,” Jennings said. “If I was given the chance to be part of the administration to take what I’ve learned from 25 years in education and apply it to making schools safer, (and) if I said no, that would be hypocritical.”
Because of his controversial past, last fall 52 House Republicans signed a letter to President Barack Obama calling for Jennings to be removed from the safe schools post. The letter was circulated by Iowa Rep. Steve King.
“As the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Mr. Jennings has played an integral role in promoting homosexuality and pushing a pro-homosexual agenda in America's schools -- an agenda that runs counter to the values that many parents desire to instill in their children,” the House Republican letter said. “As evidence of this, Mr. Jennings wrote the foreword for a book entitled Queering Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue About Sexualities and Schooling.”
“Throughout his career, Mr. Jennings has made it his mission to establish special protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students to the exclusion of all other students,” the House GOP letter said.
“The totality of Mr. Jennings' career has been to advocate for public affirmation of homosexuality. There is more to safe and drug-free schools than can be accomplished from the narrow view of Mr. Jennings who has, for more than 20 years, almost exclusively focused on promoting the homosexual agenda,” the letter added.
In a widely circulated 2000 speech regarding the allegedly underage student, Jennings recalled a 15-year-old named Brewster.
As Jennings has recounted: “He got very quiet, and he finally looked at me and said, ‘Well, I met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him.’ High school sophomore, 15 years old. That was the only way he knew how to meet gay people. I was a closeted gay teacher, 24 years old, didn’t know what to say, knew I should say something quickly. So I finally said--my best friend had just died of AIDS the week before. I looked at Brewster and said, ‘You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.’ He said to me something I will never forget, He said, ‘Why should I? My life isn’t worth saving anyway.’”
Jennings issued a statement last October to explain the incident.
“Twenty-one years later I can see how I should have handled this situation differently,” Jennings said in the October statement. “I should have asked for more information and consulted legal or medical authorities. Teachers back then had little training or guidance about this kind of thing. All teachers should have a basic level of preparedness. I would like to see the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools play a bigger role in helping to prepare teachers.”
In October, a person came forward alleging he was Brewster and told news organizations that he was 16 at the time of his conversation with Jennings, which would have been the age of consent.
The White House defended Jennings last October, as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters, “I think there are many good people from every political persuasion that seek to serve their country and serve in government, I think it’s a sacrifice, but one that people do voluntarily because they love their country.”