Kevin Jennings, the director of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, has become a major target of the right as Fox News, anti-gay marriage groups and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) pile on the openly gay Department of Education appointee.
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"Despite serving as the 'safe schools' czar, Jennings has demonstrated a willingness to look the other way on sexual abuse," said King in a statement today urging President Obama to fire Jennings. "His life's work has been the promotion of homosexuality, even in elementary schools."
One could say that Jennings, the former executive director and founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, has devoted his life to the safety of homosexual students, who are disproportionately the victims of violence and harassment at school.
But, according to King, that means "Jennings is committed to the 'safety' of only a narrow portion of American students, while expressing disdain for religion and traditional values."
Many of the attacks have centered around a conversation Jennings describes in his autobiography. When he was a 24-year-old teacher, he wrote, he spoke with a male student, a sophomore, who'd had a sexual encounter with an older man. Jennings didn't report the encounter; instead, he gave the student advice and sent him on his way.