Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vid: Safe Schools Czar Jennings'
Bullying Talk, Suicide Slides

After too long a time avoiding the public spotlight because of bullying by the like of conservative commentators on Fox News, the head of the Education Department's coordinator for safe schools, Kevin Jennings, has been more visible going around the nation delivering speeches.

When Jennings spoke earlier this month in Portland, Oregon, and his talk was written up in the Oregonian, I blogged about it and recommended that he make himself available to gay reporters and bloggers.

Today I was informed that Jennings delivered a speech yesterday in Connecticut, at a state government sponsored conference, and that it was taped for public access TV viewing. I watched the video and the long presentation he made, and can say Jennings makes a politically powerful and emotionally moving talk.

He touches upon his biracial nephew and how he's ridiculed as white because his name is Dwight, various causes of bullying and its negative influences, how kids are bullied for reasons ranging from sexual orientation to physical characteristics to religious or ethnic backgrounds, and what the Obama administration is doing to confront bullying and help those who are picked on.

And those are just a few of the topics Jennings addresses in his rapid-fire presentation that lasts just under an hour. At the end, he receives a standing ovation from the youths, educators and civic leaders in the audience.

Jennings utilizes more than 50 slides to deliver some of his points, and though they're a bit fuzzy, you can still make out most of the graphs, words and images. His speech starts about the 1:02:45 mark, and the slide of youths who've committed suicides appears around the 1:55:40 mark.

Here is the video:

(Hat tip: Ken Trump.)

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