Obama Appoints Pro-Gay Activist Who Promotes Pro-Gay Clubs in Public Schools to be 'Safe Schools' Czar
June 17, 2009 - 7:04 PMKevin Jennings, appointed May 19 by President Obama as assistant deputy secretary of education in charge of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, is the founder and former head of GLSEN -- the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network.
Jennings founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that is a prime force behind the creation of “gay-straight alliance” clubs in high schools--and some junior highs--around the country.
The organization says that its mission since 1994 has been to “assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”
“We welcome as members any and all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools,” the organization’s Web site says.
Gay-straight alliances are student organizations designed to promote the idea that some children are homosexual and to advocate for LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered) rights on school campuses.
The organizations seek to normalize homosexual behavior--and teach students that opposition to homosexuality or to “transgenderism” is a form of “oppression.”
Creating ‘Gay-Straight Alliances’ in Public Schools
GLSEN publishes a manual called “The Jump Start Guide” to instruct teen (and some pre-teen) students in how to form the alliances.
The guide, which is found on the GLSEN Web site, specifically instructs students in the tactics of homosexual activism.
“Some groups have used tactics that include circulating petitions requesting that their school board revise anti-harassment and anti-discrimination school policies; working with teachers to develop lesson plans on LGBT history; organizing a coalition of allies in the school community; holding fundraisers to purchase LGBT library materials; and holding weekly meetings where students can find support, voice their concerns, and/or plan educational events and social gatherings,” the organization tells students in Part 1 of the guide.
But the “activities” that GLSEN recommends go far beyond basic advocacy.
For instance, Part Seven of the guide is devoted to teaching students about “transgender issues” and the need to be "trans-inclusive."
“'Transgender,' often shortened to 'trans,' is a term used to describe people whose gender identity and/or expression does not conform to societal expectations of what it means to be female or male, meaning sex assigned at birth," says the guide. "Transgender is often interpreted as an umbrella term to include crossdressers, transsexuals, genderqueers, drag kings and drag queens."
Stressing that people should be asked which gender pronoun should be used to refer to them. It includes one exercise that introduces students to the gender-neutral pronouns “zie” (replacing “he” and “she”) and “hir”( replacing “him” and “her”).
Among the suggested actions in this section of the guide: “Launch a campaign to create a gender-neutral, all-genders or multi-gendered bathroom at your school.” The guide adds as a caveat: “This would likely be a single-stall bathroom.”
Another suggestion for teen students is to “leave a blank line on forms that your student club or school uses when asking for gender, rather than having only two boxes for female and male.”
In addition, students are instructed to question school authorities whether pupils are required to note their gender on certain school forms.
“If there is not appear to be a good reason to ask the question (about one’s gender),” the guide recommends, “request that it be removed.”
The guide also teaches students about “transphobia” – which it describes as: “Having the sex one was assigned at birth printed on one’s drivers license and passport for anyone requiring ID to see, being forced to pay thousands of dollars to change it (if one is even allowed to do so, depending upon one’s birth state) and never being able to choose to leave it blank” and “media outlets printing, or people sharing, birth names and pronouns of transgender people who have never said that doing so is okay.”
Part Five of the guide, titled “Examining Power, Privilege and Oppression,” instructs students in GLSEN’s definition of prejudice.
The guide separates the term “prejudice” from terms like racism and sexism, which it labels “isms.” Prejudice, according to GLSEN is “an attitude or belief about another person or group that is based on stereotypes instead of on experience or reason.”
“Isms” are defined as “prejudiced beliefs, behaviors and institutional practices by a group or person with power directed against specific groups of people.”
This way of defining terms is encapsulated in the formula “Prejudice + Power = sexism, racism, or other ‘isms.’ ”
Based on this definition of terms, the guide claims that “non-empowered groups” such as homosexuals are incapable of committing bias – or “isms.”
According to GLSEN, “Some people believe that reverse sexism or racism can occur; but it is essential to remember that one must have power to oppress someone else.”
Students are instructed to “Discuss this concept with the group and ask participants to explain why reverse sexism or racism cannot exist.”
The GLSEN guide also discusses what it calls “overt” and “covert” forms of discrimination or “oppression”--labeling “the assumption (that) a person is a heterosexual” and “non-inclusive school curriculum” as forms of “covert oppression.”
The guide places “covert discrimination” on a par with “overt discrimination,” such as “individual membership in the KKK” and “slavery.”
One specific “ism” that GLSEN takes great pains to address is “adultism,” which the guide defines as “behaviors and attitudes that adults are better than young people, and entitled to act upon them without their agreement.”
"Adultism," the guide tells students, "is characterized by 'disrespect towards the intelligence, judgment, emotional life, leadership, or physical being of young people.'"
This subject is heavily discussed in Part 6 of the guide, which deals with “Creating Youth-Adult Partnerships.” This part of the book also instructs the school-based alliances on how to conduct workshops on adultism for adult groups with which they wish to partner.
According to the Web site, GLSEN has registered more than 4,000 gay-straight alliances.
In addition to its network of student clubs, Jennings’ former organization encourages educators in all grades to add homosexual themes to their curriculum and maintains an “Educator Network,” offering resources for LGBT education from kindergarten to 12th grade.
The GLSEN Web site also includes a list of recommended books involving homosexually themed material for use in classrooms.
One of the books that is recommended for high-schooolers is “Hear Us Out! Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress and Hope, 1950 to the Present.”
The book, which was not produced by GLSEN, is described as “a compilation of essays and stories “about the lives of young LGBT people throughout the decades."
The book description adds: “Starting in the 1950’s these stories show us the truth about what it is like to be a young queer person.”
Jill Biden to GLSEN: ‘You are Right’
Jennings, who left the helm of GLSEN in late November, has received praise for his work there and his appointment to the Department of Education post.
“Kevin (Jennings) has devoted his life to improving the educational environment for all of America's youth. This appointment is a tribute to Kevin's many contributions to education and his commitment to the safety and well being of all students,” said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard in a statement responding to his appointment to the Obama administration post.
Jennings also received an endorsement from Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, who praised him and the advocacy group he founded in a June 1 speech at GLSEN’s annual “Respect Awards.”
“Starting next month, (Education) Secretary Duncan will have an excellent partner in this work,” Biden said, referring to Jennings’ appointment as head of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. “This is great news.”
Mrs. Biden told GLSEN activists that, “The task ahead is not simple, but you will prevail because you are determined, and--quite simply--you are right.”
But conservative activist Peter LaBarbera sees it differently, saying that GLSEN embodies ideas that “are antagonistic to family values and to millions of Christian parents and others opposed to the homosexual agenda.”
LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, also called Jennings a “social revolutionary.”
“More than any other homosexual activist group, GLSEN is responsible for the promotion and acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality in schools,” LaBarbera told CNSNews.com. “And Kevin Jennings is the man behind it.”
Neither Jennings nor GLSEN returned calls from CNSNews.com.