''Twenty-one years later I can see how I should have handled the situation differently. I should have asked for more information and consulted legal or medical authorities. Teachers back then had little training and guidance about this kind of thing. All teachers should have a basic level of preparedness. I would like to see the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools play a bigger role in helping to prepare teachers.''
Kevin Jennings who is openly gay and President Barack Obama's pick for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. Jennings has become one in a series of Obama's so-called "tzars" who have received harsh criticism from far-right, conservative bloggers and news organizations like Fox News Channel and WorldNet Daily. As reported by Jake Tapper of ABC News, Jennings published a book in 1994 in which he spoke of his days as a young teacher. He was a closeted gay man at that point, and at some point was allegedly introduced to a 15-year-old student who told Jennings that he was in a relationship with an older man. Jennings spoke about this situation several years later and revealed that his reply to he'd hoped the boy "knew to use a condom,'' to which the boy replied, ''Why should I, my life isn't worth saving anyway.'' (ABC News)
Conservative bloggers have pounced on this story as proof that Jennings' mission at the Department of Education is to inject homosexuality into the schools. They also repeat an alleged quote from a speech where he had harsh words for the religious right including the phrase: "We have to quit being afraid of the religious right. We also have to quit -- I'm trying to find a way to say this. I'm trying not to say, '[F--] 'em!' which is what I want to say, because I don't care what they think! [audience laughter] Drop dead!" (WorldNet Daily)
Jennings is reported to also have been the founder of GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.