Disgraced Obama Czar Jennings vindicated by ex-student ?
This is an update of Obama Safe Schools "Czar" Kevin Jennings, who was caught in a controversy concerning the role he played in advising a student in the 1980s. Democrats viewed the "scandal" as as part of the continued witch hunt from the right. ( One particularly stupid example I saw was TV right pundit Ann Coulter saying, "Why not have Roman Polanski as Safe Schools Czar?". Incredibly off the mark and stupid. )
(For my original Now Public story see: http://my.nowpublic.com/world/another-one-going-down-where-bottom-it)
The ex-student at the center of a controversy involving "safe schools czar" Kevin Jennings is defending the U.S. Education Department official against charges he failed to report an alleged case of underage sexual activity involving the former high schooler and "an older man."
The former student, referred to as "Brewster" in media reports and in previous writings by Jennings, said he was actually 16 years old and of legal consensual age at the time of the 1988 incident in Concord, Mass. Media reports had said the teen was 15 at the time, which would have made him underage.
“I was 16 when Kevin gave me the advice he gave me. I was born in July of 1971, and the conversation happened in 1988,” Brewster told FOX News on Friday.
"I had no sexual contact with anybody at the time, though I was entirely legally free to do so," Brewster said in an interview with Media Matters, a left-wing group.
The latest statements by "Brewster" are not entirely consistent with Jennings' various accounts of the 1988 incident, including at least one reference in Jennings' writings and speeches to a "15-year-old" to whom he said “I hope you knew to use a condom.”
"I said, 'What were you doing in Boston on a school night, Brewster?'” Jennings said to a rally in Iowa in 2000.
“He got very quiet, and he finally looked at me and said, 'Well I met someone in the bus station bathroom and I went home with him,'" Jennings recounted. "High school sophomore, 15 years old … I looked at Brewster and said, 'You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.’ He said to me something I will never forget, He said ‘Why should I, my life isn’t worth saving anyway.’'"
A letter filed by Jennings’ lawyer in 2004, however, states that Brewster was 16 at the time.
The lawyer’s letter also stated, in response to an NEA official who accused him of “unethical practices,” that there is no "factual basis" to claim that Jennings "engaged in any unethical practices, or that he was aware of any sexual victimization of any student,” despite Jennings' earlier statement about using a condom.
In his 1994 book, "One Teacher In 10," Jennings simply refers to Brewster as a "sophomore."
In the same book, Jennings says on page 25 that Brewster's relationship was with an "older man."
"On a hunch, I suddenly asked 'What's his name?' Brewster's eyes widened briefly, and then out spilled a story about his involvement with an older man he had met in Boston."
Whatever the precise circumstances of the "Brewster" case, Jennings on Wednesday issued a statement acknowledging the criticism of his role in it.