People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan today spoke out in support of Kevin Jennings, President Obama's choice to head the Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS.)
"Kevin Jennings has dedicated his entire career to ensuring that all students are safe in school," said Keegan. "Kids can't learn when they're not safe, and Kevin's work has won unanimous praise from across the education community. He's exactly the kind of person who should be in charge of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. It's disappointing that some opponents of this administration would rather attack Jennings and his work to score political points than actually protect kids."
This week Congressional Republicans, in a letter organized by Congressman Steve King (IA), repeated dishonest attacks about an incident Jennings wrote about in his book, "One Teacher In Ten." The claim, that Jennings failed to report the abuse of a student more than two decades ago, has been thoroughly debunked, with even Fox News issuing a correction and withdrawing the allegation.
"Instead of working on real issues, Congressman King has chosen to push lies about Kevin Jennings," said Keegan. "His attacks are deeply dishonest and harmful to the important work of keeping students safe. Congressman King owes Kevin Jennings an apology, plain and simple. I'm proud that the White House and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have stood up for students and for Kevin. They should stand firm against dishonest smears from the right wing."