Another Scandal-Scarred Czar Is Born
He indicates that only now, 21 years later, does he recognize the error of his ways. But does he really? Look at his statement again:
Teachers back then had little training and guidance about this kind of thing. All teachers should have a basic level of preparedness.
That's not a confession with remorse or repentance. That's an explanation that implies that you and I would have done the same thing if we had walked in Jennings shoes.
Then he takes it to the next level of audacity. Jennings turns his own despicable behavior into a "strength" on his job application and a raison d'être for his new position:
I would like to see the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools play a bigger role in helping to prepare teachers.
Let's be clear: Kevin Jennings let a potentially terminally-ill minor and a victim of rape walk out of his office, and Jennings never reported the incident to the boy's parents, the school nurse, the police, or anyone who might help protect this child. This Kevin Jennings is President Obama's new "safe schools czar."
Consider the implications.
Is the United States suffering from such a dearth of qualified applicants for this position that the president couldn't find someone who lacked a track record of child endangerment? Can you picture this man traveling the country as the president's emissary for safety in our schools?
So egregious is this appointment, it's hard to imagine a worse pick. It's almost as if the White House is intentionally pushing the limits until we no longer feel outrage.
It reminds me of a scene from the film Broadcast News, ironically released in 1987 -- just months before Kevin Jennings' counseling session with "Brewster" -- in which Albert Brooks' character talks to Holly Hunter's character about her other love interest, Tom:
Tom, while being a very nice guy, is the devil.
When Hunter reacts with shock, Brooks says:
What do you think the devil's going to look like if he's around? C'mon, no one's going to be taken in by a guy with a long, red, pointy tail! He will be attractive. He'll be nice and helpful. He'll get a job where he influences a great, God-fearing nation. He'll never do an evil thing. He'll never deliberately hurt a living thing. He'll just -- bit by little bit -- lower our standards where they're important.
I would hate to think that a great nation will stand idly by as a man with a record of showing more concern for lifestyle tolerance than child safety draws his salary from our paychecks and gets gilded business cards that say "Director of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools."
President Obama, fire Kevin Jennings now.