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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review October 12, 2009 / 24 Tishrei 5770

Facts hurt Jennings in youth sex controversy

By Byron York




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Conservative critics have a long list of objections to gay activist Kevin Jennings, the controversial head of the Education Department's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. But the most contentious, and emotional, issue in the Jennings affair concerns a 1988 incident in which Jennings, then a high-school history teacher at Concord Academy in Massachusetts, was approached by one of his students, a sophomore boy, who said he had become involved with an older man he met in the men's room of a Boston bus station. Instead of referring the situation to school authorities, Jennings gave the boy advice on condom use.

Critics, like the Family Research Council, have hit Jennings hard over the incident, with some accusing him of condoning child abuse. Jennings' defenders, like the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters, hit back just as hard, accusing the critics of smears and gay-baiting.

What settles the matter, Jennings' supporters argue, is the boy's age. In a speech in 2000, Jennings said the boy was 15 years old, but we now know that he was 16. The boy "was of the legal age of consent at the time of his conversation with Jennings," writes Media Matters. Case closed, as far as Jennings' backers are concerned.

But is it? A check with education authorities in Massachusetts -- including the school where Jennings taught -- shows that his actions would not be acceptable today and could even warrant discipline from school officials and possible legal penalties.

"Today, teachers and staff know that if they were to learn of an encounter of the sort to which you refer, they would be required to report it to the Dean of Students and Community Life and/or the Head of School," writes Pamela Safford, associate head for communications at Concord Academy, in an e-mail response to my questions. Those school officials, Safford says, would be required to file a report with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families on "any situation involving the safety and well-being of a student."

Safford has no comment on events in 1988, but says that today, "Our practice is to report any circumstance we think may be inappropriate, regardless of the student's age, and let the Department of Children and Families advise on how to proceed."

Concord Academy is a private school; it can make its own policies, within the law. As far as public schools in Massachusetts are concerned, state law requires so-called "mandated reporters" -- that is, teachers and administrators who are legally bound to report any knowledge of abuse -- to notify authorities if they have "reasonable cause to believe that a child under the age of 18 years is suffering physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse, including sexual abuse. ..."

There are consequences for not doing so. "If a mandated reporter fails to report abuse and/or neglect of a child under the age of 18 years old, that individual would be subject to a fine of $1,000," says Alison Goodwin, spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families.

So much for the it's-OK-because-he-was-16 argument.

Jennings himself says he now "can see how I should have handled this situation differently." But there are other objections to his role as head of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. There is his authorship of the foreword to the 1999 book Queering Elementary Education. There is a life's work singularly focused on bringing the topic of homosexuality into the nation's classrooms, including elementary schools. (In his 2002 book, Always My Child, Jennings advocated schools adopting a "diversity policy that mandates including LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered] themes into the curriculum.") And then, given the title of the office he heads, there is the fact that he has no experience in school safety or drug prevention.

Still, the Obama administration is squarely behind Jennings. "Kevin Jennings has dedicated his professional career to promoting school safety," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said recently. "He is uniquely qualified for his job and I'm honored to have him on our team." When White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about Jennings, he referred reporters to Duncan's statement. Meanwhile, outside the administration, Jennings' defenders are busy denouncing the "conservative smear machine" in articles like Media Matters' "Right Wing Media Lynch Mob Gay-Baits White House, Facts Be Damned."

Will Jennings survive? The administration seems determined to keep him. But the case against him is becoming more and more serious.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Byron York's column by clicking here.


Previously:



10/05/09 Amid terror threat, Dems chip away at Patriot Act
09/27/09 In Afghanistan, let U.S. troops be warriors
09/21/09 Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in drove
09/14/09 Dems stifle Republican health care plans
09/08/09 For Dems, a serious Charlie Rangel problem
09/07/09 Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job
09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the ‘Axis of Evil’ today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny



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