Patterico's Pontifications


The Safe Schools Czar

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 7:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools is Kevin Jennings who was reportedly appointed because of his efforts to discourage school bullying by establishing gay awareness chapters in schools. Some conservatives object to Jennings’ interesting qualifications:

“Jennings was obviously chosen for this job because of the safe schools aspect… defining ‘safe schools’ narrowly in terms of ‘safe for homosexuality’,” Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, told

“But at least half of the job involves creating drug-free schools, and we’ve not been offered any evidence about what qualifications Jennings has for promoting drug-free schools.”

Jennings’ detractors note that he made four references to his personal drug abuse in his 2007 autobiography, “Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son: A Memoir.” On page 103, discussing his high school years in Hawaii in the early 1980s, Jennings wrote:

“I got stoned more often and went out to the beach at Bellows, overlooking Honolulu Harbor and the lights of the city, to drink with my buddies on Friday and Saturday nights, spending hours watching the planes take off and land at the airport, which is actually quite fascinating when you are drunk and stoned.”

In addition, Jennings reportedly expressed contempt for religion and “detailed an incident in which he did not report an underage student who told him he was having sex with older men.”

And in an apparently successful effort to offend conservatives with the trifecta of religion, drugs and sex, Jennings defended a presentation at an “educational seminar for kids that graphically described some unorthodox sex techniques” including fisting. Jennings’ chief concern seemed to be that the presentation had been taped. I wonder if he knows ACORN’s Bertha Lewis?


42 Responses to “The Safe Schools Czar”

  1. Well, prior drug use (long since stopped) might be a requirement for knowing what to beware of (the “been around the block” principle), and lots of people have contempt for religion. Neither seems a disqualifier, although open contempt for members of the public is not very politically astute.

    The winking at underage sex (straight or gay) does seem indefensible, and I have no idea how he defends the kinky-sex-for-kids thing.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  2. Kevin,

    I assume the argument is that first-hand knowledge of teen drugs and sex helps educators identify with and counsel at-risk students. But how does that work, exactly?

    Such educators don’t have any rehabilitative lesson to teach if they didn’t suffer much, or at all, for their decisions. And they can’t relate at all to students who curb their impulses, something that might actually benefit at-risk kids.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  3. Obama does have some interesting friends. Does Michelle know about this ?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  4. I think the Boob Czar could straighten this all out.

    driver (29b6de)

  5. Some people that have had problems with drugs/alcohol can be good resources for people, for the reasons Kevin noted. They can even turn out to be productive members of society, good spouses, and good parents. But DRJ is also quite correct that simply having done them does not make it beneficial, and in the instant case, it sounded more like bragging than a cautionary tale.

    JD (12ebb1)

  6. Where does one apply for the Boob Czar position?

    Maybe it is at, now that they yanked all of the ACORN job postings off of there.

    JD (12ebb1)

  7. But Terkel said that Jennings’ appointment showed that the Obama administration was taking safe schools seriously.

    “For a long time I think this position was largely neglected. It was seen as a throwaway position [by the Bush administration.] Now the Obama administration has made an attempt to find someone who, in many ways, seems tailor-made for this position. [Jennings] has devoted his whole career to promoting safe schools.”

    No. A teacher in public school is a mandated reporter and if a minor tells him he is having sex with an older man, the teacher is compelled to report it. Jennings didn’t. He has not spent his whole career promoting safe sex, rather he allowed his own personal beliefs to determine what *should be* lawful. On top top of that, it is very possible that he willfully worked against parents if this cavalier attitude toward the law and minors was a prevailing one.

    If Obama and his administration believe Jennings is tailor-made for the position, then once again, I seriously question my president’s judgment.

    Dana (863a65)

  8. I think that position has been taken, JD. That’s a tough t-shirt to fill.

    driver (29b6de)

  9. According to its Web site, one of its primary functions is to “provide financial assistance…

    That’s all these bloated bureaucracies are: spigots of money to shower on your peeps.

    After reading about this guy, I think we need a Czar Czar. I for one would like to apply.

    Patricia (c95a48)

  10. It’s not coincidental that an industry (ie public schools) long characterized as failing or in great need of reform and improvement should be dominated by people of the left (ie, a high percentage of teachers and administrators), and that a good number of schools with the most rowdy conditions imaginable, with some of the harshest bullying found in America, should be in districts (eg, inner-city LA, Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Oakland) where virtually any candidate for an elective office who’s a Republican/conservative or even true centrist need not bother to apply, much less run.

    Mark (411533)

  11. Czar Czar

    I think we already have one…
    It’s called: The President!

    AD - RtR/OS! (97af1e)

  12. reporting underage students for having gay sex with old people is probably a really good way to instigate a really dramatic teen suicide I think

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  13. Sounds like this “Safe School” Czar could easily be a member of NAMBLA. (Link removed by DRJ.) Fisting? Even most freaks don’t get into that, I think. That’s a little more than a lot disturbing.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  14. DRJ, the best teacher is one who knows the subject firsthand. In the case of drugs and teen sex, that wouldn’t be to glamorize it, but to know exactly what the lies are, why they appeal, and what the bitter truth is.

    There are some things you cannot learn by reading and theory. Combat, I think, is another.

    Now, that being said, I am unconvinced that this guy and his attitudes are a good example of that.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  15. This wiki is likely a safer, though not necessarily less disturbing, link.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  16. Kevin,

    Obviously that’s the theory of programs like AA and it’s worked for many people. It makes sense so we accept it. But in education, some of the most impressive results have occurred in programs that adopt old-fashioned approaches.

    DRJ (b008f8)

  17. I could teach a PhD program.

    JD (692c5d)

  18. Perhaps you might like someone with experience assisting, think Drew Pinsky in charge of the program, aided by former addicts. But to put them in charge, particularly this guy with his seemingly cavalier attitude, does not seem smart. Otherwise, why not Keef Richards as drug czar?

    Gazzer (22ecdc)

  19. DRJ,

    This is a little off topic, but I did post again on the “Sources Say…” thread, and I posted an apology. I just wanted to make sure that you knew that it was forgetful of me to impugn your motives, and that I meant no offense.

    I hope there are no hard feelings there. I felt bad.

    Sorry for jacking the tread, folks.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  20. Dr Drew Pinsky is a really really really really really really good resource.

    JD (692c5d)

  21. I dunno about that drug czar thing. I’d lean toward Ozzy for that.

    Just imagine him mumbling “I did drugs and they didn’t hurt me any.” And how many kids would decide drugs are not for them? 😛

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  22. There is a pattern emerging with these czars and it isn’t a good one. Unfortunately they aren’t and won’t be vetted. Unless the pressure is piled on (Van Jones), they’ll be free to influence as much as the position allows. The latest from our ‘Diversity’ Czar:

    President Obama’s diversity czar at the Federal Communications Commission has spoken publicly of getting white media executives to “step down” in favor of minorities, prescribed policies to make liberal talk radio more successful, and described Hugo Chavez’s rise to power in Venezuela “an incredible revolution.”

    Dana (863a65)

  23. Dana – That kind of asshattery should be more widely disseminated. I follow this stuff, and had not heard that until your comment.

    JD (692c5d)

  24. JD, you are right, if as i suspect, you are being facetious regarding Pinsky. He is an attention whore and a lousy doctor, so not a good example for my analogy. However, I think you get my point.

    Gazzer (22ecdc)

  25. A brief aside was made to a GLSEN-sponsored educational seminar in which sex-ed instructors graphically discussed “fisting” with Massachusetts high school students.

    For those who followed those events in real time in 2000 (as I did on Free Republic), that incident was known as “Fistgate.” A parent with an audiotape of that part of the seminar played it for the publishers of the now-defunct Massachusetts News, founded and published by conservative attorney Edward Pawlick. After the publication of transcripts of the conversation and excerpts were played on a radio talk show, gay lawyers sprung into action and legally restrained the parents from airing the tape. With coverage of the scandal limited to the Mass News online edition, the outrage was contained, not to reach the Boston dailies, much less the national newswires.

    The tapes finally became available for legal listening online for first time earlier this year. Click here. Transcripts are provided. Listener Discretion Strongly Advised. Not even close to safe for work.

    If you choose to listen, remember that the children being spoken with by the Gay Straight Alliance counselors are as young as fourteen, and that this took place NINE YEARS AGO, before the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and six other states. Can you imagine what the conversations behind closed doors might be like nearly a decade later?

    L.N. Smithee (81077d)

  26. Remember folks, Obama wants to start sex education in kindergarten. I can’t remember when fisting appears in the curriculum, though.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  27. Gazzer – He may be a money-grubbing attention-whore, but when it comes to addiction, he knows his stuff.

    JD (9d8cb8)

  28. DRJ:

    I respect your decision to remove the link in my previous post, but could you please re-insert my warning and disclaimer? As it stands now, it doesn’t sit too well with me. That warning and disclaimer was very important.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  29. And could you maybe also note that you removed the link after I gave the other link? I don’t want people thinking I actually visit sites like that and I don’t want people thinking I put up a less offensive link after you de-linked a previous post.

    Ya know what I’m getting at?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  30. One day as I walked the Philadelphia streets I encountered the drug free school zone signs, and a light went on in my brain.

    If penalties are more severe to keep drugs away from schools, why aren’t they more severe everywhere to keep them out of the city? To keep them away from my house, and my children?

    We want them away from schools. I get that. I just want them away, period. If we were really serious about that we would be serious enough to impose penalties everywhere that are already used to drive the drug trade away from certain areas.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  31. Meanwhile You have Vitter, Ensign (and his parents’ cash pay-offs as hush money) and the former gubernatorial candidate who killed his ex; a few philandering husbands and a few more now semi-closeted homosexuals. And all of these are the leadership of the “Values Voters” bloc. And to all this add Jonah Goldberg on morality:
    “I blame Jerri Ryan and Mike Ditka for all of America’s problems. If she only lightened up, her husband would have beat Obama in ’04.”
    Chappaquiddick was 40 years ago. Lewinsky was a blow job and 14 years ago.
    All the above and more except the Ryan affair, was in the past year. And the Goldberg quote just sums it all up. The level of hypocrisy is impressive I’ll give you that.

    And here’s your leadership on health insurance. Eric Cantor:
    –The constituent said she has a close relative in her early forties “who did have a wonderful, high-paying job, owns her own home, and is a a real contributing member of society.” Then she lost her job and found out she has stomach tumors and needs an operation.
    “She has no insurance,” the constituent said.
    “This person is a very close member of my family,” she said. “She’s ill. And she has no way to have this operation. So I’m asking you, what would you do if this were your close relative. Your niece, your aunt, your sister or whatever.”
    Cantor suggested looking into “an existing government program.”
    “There are programs, there are charitable organizations, there are hospitals here who do provide charity care,” he continued.
    “No one in this country, given who we are, should ever be sitting without an option to go be addressed.”
    And apparently this Republican wants us to rely on government and the charity of others to ensure that.–

    bored again (d80b5a)

  32. 30, Amphipolis, You can drag a Liberal to knowledge, but you can’t make them think!

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  33. This is all part of how the New World Order is encouraging homosexuality as part of its population control program.


    carlitos (7cb6d9)

  34. Do black people know about this?

    nk (df76d4)

  35. I operated on a few young men after they were introduced to fisting in Laguna Beach. It isn’t pretty, even for a surgeon. There is a weird subculture that seems to be well represented in Obama’s appointments.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  36. There is a weird subculture that seems to be well represented in Obama’s appointments.

    Comment by Mike K — 9/24/2009 @ 8:17 am

    Yup. They don’t have numbers but they have money.

    But the pervert bubble, in politics, culture, and the economy, is going to go the way of all other bubbles, I think.

    nk (df76d4)

  37. The linked article wtore about what he said and did and how the leftists call this a smear.
    Once again, telling the truth about someone becomes a “right wing smear”.

    tyree (60c95a)

  38. “[Jennings] has devoted his whole career to promoting safe schools.”

    By teaching grade school kids how to jam their fists into other kids’ anuses?

    Federal Dog (cafd70)

  39. A bit of factual error in the text. As one who has lived on Oahu for 95% of my life, the reference to “Bellows” and seeing Honolulu, the airplanes take off and land…” etc is absolutely ridiculous. There is only on “Bellows” which is Bellows Beach, which is located in Waimanalo, the directly opposite side of the island from Honolulu – you cannot see Honolulu or the airport from there. Its like saying you like looking at Malibu beach from Receda! I guess getting stoned will do that to you .. screw up your memories. Mahalo from Honolulu.

    Erik R (a063a7)

  40. A teacher in public school is a mandated reporter and if a minor tells him he is having sex with an older man, the teacher is compelled to report it. Jennings didn’t.

    Statute of limitations on something like this?

    Matador (ad4464)

  41. you cannot see Honolulu or the airport from there. Its like saying you like looking at Malibu beach from Receda!

    The tyranny of reality is banished by drugs and alcohol.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  42. Bush was a drunk until he turned 40, and look what happened to him. Oh wait…

    Rizzo (6f0cce)

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