Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings
Speaks on Gay Kids Bullied to Death?

There have been two deaths recently of school children who have died after making suicide attempts, after relentless anti-gay bullying by classmates. One of the late victims was a 13-year-old in California. From KGET's site:

Seth Walsh
Seth Walsh, the Tehachapi 13-year-old who hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied, died Tuesday afternoon after nine days on life support.

Tehachapi police investigators interviewed some of the young people who taunted Seth the day he hanged himself and determined despite the tragic outcome of their ridicule, their actions do not constitute a crime.

"Several of the kids that we talked to broke down into tears," Jeff Kermode, Tehachapi Police Chief, said. "They had never expected an outcome such as this."

He said the students told investigators they wish they had put a stop to the bullying and not participated in it.

Friends said Seth was picked on for years because he was gay. [...]

Down in Texas, another 13-year-old boy was driven to kill himself because of ceaseless bullying. From the Houston Chronicle:

Asher Brown
Asher Brown's worn-out tennis shoes still sit in the living room of his Cypress-area home while his student progress report — filled with straight A's — rests on the coffee table.

The eighth-grader killed himself last week. He shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

Brown, his family said, was "bullied to death" — picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.

The 13-year-old's parents said they had complained about the bullying to Hamilton Middle School officials during the past 18 months, but claimed their concerns fell on deaf ears. [...]

A Google news and blog search reveal that Kevin Jennings, an openly gay appointee of President Obama's to run the Department of Education's Safe Schools program, made the following statement about the grief-inducing deaths of Seth Walsh and Asher Brown:

"_____________________________________________," said Kevin Jennings.

This good gay Democrat's deafening silence is a tragic testament of how Jennings has allowed himself into being bullied into that silence by rightwing nutcases. What benefit is Jennings' muteness at this time? Who in the Obama administration has forced him to take a vow of silence. Did Jennings take lessons from Clintonista Richard Socarides in how to be a gay Democrat and screw the community, while maintaining an administration job?

Shame on Kevin Jennings. Seth and Asher are dead, will never speak again, and the Safe School Czar ain't got no nothing to say.

Let Jennings know you're not the least bit happy with his continuing silence. Send him some email:


Anonymous said...

Well, it's not like Jennings is doing nothing. Why just last month he was supposed to host a bullying conference at the posh Washington Hilton Hotel.
Lots of out-of-town non-profits sent reps to this paid holiday, um, I mean important gathering. Once there, they could interact with all the relevant policymakers, like an executive from Dairy Queen International. Unfortunately, Jennings couldn't attend himself as he had more important things to do.
Held August 11-12, 2010

Anonymous said...

I am the straight mom of a 21yr old Lesbian in college and also am the Pres. of our local PFLAG chapter. I agree with the tepid response at best by our org leaders. I posted on our facebook for all to email Kevin Jennings. I as well will be doing that and also my local newspapers. I also plan on taking anti gay bullying materials from the org websites to the school district and schools themselves to get them to have an awareness week like they do with drugs! We are in So Cal so it's not a friendly environment but I have to try. If I bug them enough, hopefully something will happen. I'll let you know....