Scott Ott tells us about Kevin Jennings, Obama's new Head of Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. Back in 1988 Mr. Jennings, a much younger 24 year old school teacher who was still old enough to spell "AIDS", "counseled" a young man to think about using condoms when having sex with the wide-stanced man who picked him up at a bus station. Parental notification? Don't be silly - Jennings was taking "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" out of the military and putting it back in the schools where it belongs.
And now Mr. Jennings is the new school safety czar, and why not? He has apologized handsomely, explaining that any of us would have made the same mistake.
Mr. Jennings also explains that he wil be able to connect with today's disaffected youth; from ABC's Jake Tapper:
It has also been noted that the new head of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools wrote, in his 2007 autobiography, "Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son: A Memoir,” that in his high school years he “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."
Jennings today said: "I have written about the factors that have led me to use drugs as a teen. This experience qualifies me to help students and teachers who are confronting these issues today.”
What's the headline - President Appoints Fellow Stoner From Hawaii?
Mr. Ott asks this:
I would ask a different question - all over America kids are passing through metal detectors as they enter school. When people think about school safety, do they really think first and foremost about the bullying experienced by gay kids? That is certainly an important topic and Mr. Jennings has made it his life's work, but should it really be at the top of the national agenda? Would inner-city educators put it at the top of their safety agenda?