Imagine, if you will, that just over eight year ago, then-President George W. Bush nominated a guy named Keith Jenkins to serve as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Curriculum at the Department of Education. (Yes, Tim and Tano, I realize there’s no such position.) This fellow Jenkins, having taught in public schools, had become increasingly upset about that students were no longer being taught the values of Western Civilization.
So, with funding from some social conservative organizations, including churches and Orthodox synagogues, he sets up the Judeo-Christian Values Network (JCVN) to find ways of promoting these values in public school curricula without violating the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Soon after his appointment, left-wingers in a then-fledgling medium start uncovering information and posting about his past. As a teacher, he had directed a confused Hindu student, the only Indian in his class, to an evangelical ministry.
At a 1992 JCVN conference on school curricula, a speaker had encouraged students to visit the church of that very ministry. When word leaked out that JCVN was promoting religion, he fired that speaker and claimed he was unaware of the woman’s agenda. Four years later, a local paper reported that facilitators at the conference were passing out a guide to Christian doctrine along with a list of churches that practiced a certain biblical form of Christianity.
You can bet that under that series of circumstances someone in the MSM would undertake an investigation.
When a reader e-mailed me the latest information about Kevin Jennings and GLSEN to come to light, I wondered why the MSM is so disinterested in a similar story. Do they fear that if they even touched this topic, they’d be branded as anti-gay? (As if it’s anti-gay to wonder why someone would teach about certain sexual fetishes at a conference for schoolchildren.)
Now, this latest information is a bit problematic. A teacher has come forward claiming that “that there is ‘no way’ that [Jennings] did not know about the pornographic and sexually explicit material that was presented and discussed at the conference.” (He has claimed he did not know such information was promoted at the conference.) Problem is is that this woman remains anonymous, so we are unable to confirm her report.
Still, if an anonymous source had come forward reporting that the hypothetical Mr. Jenkins knew that a Christian pastor were proselytizing at the imagined conference above, you can be pretty sure the reporters from New York Times and the AP would be trying to get her name from the blogger who broke the story.
This is not a case of a conference which teaches children to treat their gay peers with dignity and to understand the “mechanics” and meaning of our sexuality, it is the case of material being presented which is entirely inappropriate for children. In his post on the topic, Ed Morrissey pretty much sums up my thoughts:
Teenagers need a clear understanding of human biology, reproduction, and disease transmission in order to be properly educated in the mechanics of sexuality, and that should be accompanied by a proper moral foundation instilled by parents and family. They do not need a how-to presentation on fetishistic practices at the age of fourteen, which is exactly what GLSEN’s presentation promoted. . . .
Read the whole thing, particularly for his scathing critique of the material distributed at the more recent conference.
If what this anonymous teacher says is true, then we have, in the Department of Education, someone who thought it entirely appropriate to teach fetishistic practices to teenagers. And that should be a subject of concern for all Americans, even and perhaps especially gay Americans who would want gay adolescents to have an easier time of it than we did.
This education, however, in many ways, steers them into the same dark alleys where gay people were led before it was acceptable to be as open about our sexuality as we are today.