Kevin Jennings back in the news
Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings was the founder, and for many years, Executive Director of an organization called the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). GLSEN started essentially as Jennings’ personal project and grew to become the culmination of his life’s work. And he was chosen by President Obama to be the nation’s Safe Schools Czar primarily because he had founded and led GLSEN (scroll for bio).
GLSEN’s stated mission is to empower gay youth in the schools and to stop harassment by other students. It encourages the formation of Gay Student Alliances and condemns the use of hateful words. GLSEN also strives to influence the educational curriculum to include materials which the group believes will increase tolerance of gay students and decrease bullying. To that end, GLSEN maintains a recommended reading list of books that it claims “furthers our mission to ensure safe schools for all students.” In other words, these are the books that GLSEN’s directors think all kids should be reading: gay kids should read them to raise their self-esteem, and straight kids should read them in order to become more aware and tolerant and stop bullying gay kids. Through GLSEN’s online ordering system, called “GLSEN BookLink,” featured prominently on their Web site, teachers can buy the books to use as required classroom assignments, or students can buy them to read on their own.
According to GLSEN’s own press releases from the period during which its recommended reading list was developed, the organization’s three areas of focus were creating “educational resources, public policy agenda, [and] student organizing programs”; in other words, the reading list (chief among its “educational resources”) was of prime importance in GLSEN’s efforts to influence the American educational system.
The list is divided into three main categories: books recommended for grades K-6; books recommended for grades 7-12; and books for teachers. (The books on the list span all genres: fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, even poetry.)
Out of curiosity to see exactly what kind of books Kevin Jennings and his organization think American students should be reading in school, our team chose a handful at random from the over 100 titles on GLSEN’s grades 7-12 list, and began reading through.
What we discovered shocked us. We were flabbergasted. Rendered speechless.
We were unprepared for what we encountered. Book after book after book contained stories and anecdotes that weren’t merely X-rated and pornographic, but which featured explicit descriptions of sex acts between pre-schoolers; stories that seemed to promote and recommend child-adult sexual relationships; stories of public masturbation, anal sex in restrooms, affairs between students and teachers, five-year-olds playing sex games, semen flying through the air. One memoir even praised becoming a prostitute as a way to increase one’s self-esteem. Above all, the books seemed to have less to do with promoting tolerance than with an unabashed attempt to indoctrinate students into a hyper-sexualized worldview.
We knew that unless we carefully documented what we were reading, the public would have a hard time accepting it. , , , ,
I am not going to post the passages from the books that Mr. Jennings, Obama's "safe school czar," thinks should be read by 13 year olds, but for those interested the link is here.