Learning First Alliance

Strengthening public schools for every child

In Support of Kevin Jennings

vonzastrowc's picture

Kevin Jennings is the right person to lead the Education Department's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. He is a passionate advocate for the welfare of all children in our schools. As the former head of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, he demonstrated his devotion to the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

He will stand up for any child who faces harassment for any reason: race, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs. You would be-hard pressed to find anyone who has done more to promote values such as trust and mutual respect in our schools.

Normally an endorsement like this would be unnecessary. Jennings's actions and history speak for themselves. But fringe groups have started leveling outrageous charges at him: He is promoting a "radical homosexual agenda." He cares about only gay and lesbian students. He is hostile to religion.

These attacks are preposterous. They are beyond the pale. Jennings worked with the Christian Educators Association to create ground rules for respectful dialogue on sexual orientation in schools. He has always been an outspoken advocate for all students' right to a safe and civil school environment. And he sits on the board of the Union Theological Seminary.

A public school is safe only when everyone can expect to be treated with civility and respect. If anything, the hostility leveled at Jennings proves that we have much work to do.