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Kevin Jennings' Pick at Ed. Dept. Riles Up Some Conservatives


One of Arne Duncan's key leadership picks has ignited the conservative blogsphere: Kevin Jennings, the U.S. Department of Education's soon-to-be assistant deputy secretary in the office of safe and drug-free schools.

The former Massachusetts Department of Education official founded, and was the executive director of, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. GLSEN works to make schools safe for students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a real issue, as the latest GLSEN survey from October showed that 86 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students experienced harassment during the previous school year.

This isn't the first time the Obama administration has signaled its commitment to raising awareness about keeping schools safe, including for gay, lesbian, and transgender youth. Jill Biden, a community college professor and the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, gave the keynote address at GLSEN's annual awards banquet last week. In April, as part of a broader statement on school safety, Duncan called attention to the importance of protecting students from bullying and harassment because of sexual orientation.

But the Jennings pick—which does not require Senate confirmation—is lighting up Twitter and drawing fire from conservative groups, including Catholic Online, and the legislative arm of the Family Research Council, which is urging folks to write the department opposing the choice. Specifically, the group says that GLSEN "force[s] affirmation of homosexuality in schools, beginning in kindergarten." What's up with certain conservatives linking sex and kindergarten? (Think back to that 2008 campaign ad that purported that Barack Obama supported sex-ed for kindergartners.)


It seems to me that the liberals have their knickers in a bind when conservatives evoke their First Amendment right to speak and print their objections to someone who wants to promote the gay/lesbian lifestyle on impressionable minds.

Nowhere in the article does the author discuss Kevin Jennings in relation to the other forms of harassment of children with special needs, medical disabilities, and those by run of the mill playground bullies.

President Obama as the most liberal state and federal senator, now most liberal president, has pushed for same sex and sex education for kindergarteners. Many school districts across the United States have instituted such measures, but fortunately, have been brought down by parents and parent's groups.

The worse thing about this is that as per pupil cost have risen 50% since 1970, our reading (scores) abilities in children haven't even reached 10% above 1970. Let's get our priorities straight.

Parents are responsible for educating their children in sexual matters. Schools responsibility is to teach reading, writing, arithmetic. As it stands, public schooling can barely do that well.

Kevin Jennings is an honors graduate of Harvard and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an award winning teacher with years in the classroom who can bring a much needed classroom perspective to the D. of E, and someone who has built a much respected national educational organization that works against . In no way, shape or form has President Obama pushed for same sex and sex education for kids in grade school much less kindergarten! I guess these conservatives just keep making this stuff up to scare people--its like they think that if you tell the big lie long enough people will believe it.

The real question is not about GLSEN. It should be on why does ED need another deputy assistant undersecretary over Safe and Drug Free Schools when President Obama has called for eliminating the already pithy-funded remaining state grant component of the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program?

What will Mr. Jennings be overseeing --- a program that has been cut from a one-time funding level of $531 million to current $294 million, and now proposed for elimination. The department already has an associate assistant deputy undersecretary as well. All these big salary folks running an office that is repeatedly cutting school safety funds, with the President calling to eliminate the remaining state grant program for SDFS.

Hello, does anyone see a problem here? Does anyone seem to get the fact that funding for school safety, particularly in this program, is less now than over 10 years ago before Columbine? Does anyone inside the Beltway even care? Or do we have to experience another Columbine or Virginia Tech, and then Congress and the Administration will make knee-jerk reactions, throw money and grandstand in front of the TV cameras all while pondering, "How did this happen?"

Maybe it happens because we have roller coaster public awareness, policies, and funding on school safety (and most everything else)???

For more, see http://tinyurl.com/nft74s and http://tinyurl.com/rdp42p

Ken Trump
National School Safety and Security Services

It seems you don't understand that "Conservatives" especially those who are religious are always acceptable targets for societal intimidation and ridicule. It is perhaps the only accepted bigotry by American media and liberal America.
He is openly biased against Christians and their beliefs. Our country is overwhelmingly Christian. None of this matters because we keep electing people who give a lot of talk to accepting our Christian beliefs, yet always act to oppose them, "ACLU, Obama Administration and Media."

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