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Sunday, August 21, 2005

 

Kevin Jennings article regarding Brewster

Here is the article called Remembering Brewster about Kevin Jennings of GLSEN. I am curious to see what blog readers think of the two stories concerning Brewster. Am I reading these correctly or making too much out of not much?

Comments:
Why don't you address this directly to Kevin Jennings?

Before you do,

1) what % of "children" have had sex at 16?

2) Some do, and will, regardless of your opinion on the matter.

3) On that, find out what % of births to under 16yo girls are to men. Is this higher, much higher or very much higher than the number of men in gaol for stat. rape?

4) does it bother you that a pregnant teen can get married in several States without parental consent? If they get married, does it bother you that a 15yo is having sex?

5) ever wonder if "Brewster" is a real name? Same person? Age and dates correct?

6) rather than speculate based on what you want them to be, find out EXACTLY what the laws -- including criminal laws -- were around these occasions. Unless you know, the directives in there about what Jennings should have done are unwarranted.

7) we know very little about the young man/men. You seem to be creating a mythical youth based on what you think he should or should not be doing and feeling. And from that, determing that he must be abused. Sheer speculation.

8) the ending all those statments with a ? -- have you been taking writing lessons from Judith Reisman? > "It should raise questions for many: has Warren Throckmorton been stealing money from Grove City College? That is a question he MUST answer before he should be trusted, and so far that is something he never has answered."

9) because of all above, this reads as one long "Have you stopped beating your wife?" trick question.

Again. Why not just send the copy to Jennings, if you really wish to know.
 
P.S. I guess this also means the LIA investigation is now on permanent hiatus?

Never did see the outcome to that...
 
1. According to CDC surveys here about 30%. Why?

2. Indeed, didn't say KJ should have known about it or prevented it.

3. I have no idea why that is relevant to the article.

4. Again, your point is? (I do like question marks) And what states would those be?

5. Yes, he has declined to address that issue to reporters.

6. I did call the Massachusetts authorities and asked them the hypothetical as did the Washington Times reporter. According the MA authorities, if a 16 year old boy was having sex, it should have been reported to either the school or the state. What I was unsure of until I heard the Iowa talk was if KJ really knew Brewster was sexually active. The Iowa talk makes it clear he knew.

7. I did not create the myth. KJ did and continues to. I am simply reading and listening to what Mr. Jennings said. How am I speculating? Doesn't it bother you that there are there discrepancies in the story?

8. ? And the loot is safe in GCC.

9. So the story discrepancies and his response to Brewster in the Iowa story doesn't bother you? (Yes, I do love ?) The reporting thing is a problem but he had said, "For all you teachers out there, I should have reported this to my school at the least. It turned out ok, but by law and out of respect for the school, you should report these things." I think he would show an awareness that there is some value in adults providing guidance in addition to affirmation.

GLSEN is huge in the schools and it is frightening to think that youth workers might not be following the law when confronted with these situations. This is of course true whether it would be a gay or straight youth worker or teacher.


PS - No, LIA is on temporary hiatus.

PPS - I may send it along to Mr. Jennings.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Its not a question of you "making too much," but of considering this in the context its been reported. Grantdale indicated on another thread, that at the time this took place, homosexual sex acts were illegal in Massachusettes regardless of age.

So I'd suggest that your hypothetical phone call to the Massachusettes authorities may be about 17 years too late.

If, in 1987, both the teacher and the student were (as LA Police Chief Ed Davis once quipped), "unapprehended felons" then you have a strange view of "protecting" this student. A phone call to the authorities might have resulted in everybody being carted off to jail.

Perhaps you might gain some insight from your own policies at Grove. Over on ex-gay watch, it was stated that homosexuality is grounds for expulsion. What would happen, officially, at Grove if a gay teacher were approached by a gay student in confidence?
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
I did check on the laws in MA. If an adult had sex with a minor with 4 years of difference in age, then it was a crime and sexual abuse by definition. If Brewster was 15 as Mr. Jennings says in his Iowa talk, then the man would have needed to 19 or older. I don't know the age of the person Brewster said he was with. Mr. Jennings did not need to find out in order to report. Teachers are mandated reporters, not investigators. The legality of homosexuality in MA at the time (although I am pretty sure it was legal there) is irrelevant because if the actions were with someone of the same sex but near the same age, it would have been a consensual act and Jennings would not need to report that as a teacher. As a teacher, I would still have reported this to the boarding school (in order to keep him on campus) but he would not have been a mandated reporter in the same way.

As for GCC, homosexuality in some general sense is not grounds for dismissal. Behavioral standards are the same for all. But I have no idea what that has to do with this post.
 
The legality of homosexuality in MA at the time (although I am pretty sure it was legal there) is irrelevant because if the actions were with someone of the same sex but near the same age, it would have been a consensual act and Jennings would not need to report that as a teacher.

No, whether or not the sex was consensual is irrelevant here. The sex in Bowers v. Hardwicke was certainly consensual, but it was still illegal. People are reticient to report illegal activties they themselves are involved in.

The way I read your horror story (teenager picks up older man), this story is clearly consensual too, except that the law defines it as statuatory rape, the same way that the law once defined homosexual sex as immoral conduct. For a while the SCOTUS agreed that was a state right, but now they don't.

Grantdale and I seem to be raising a lot of points that indicate if this were heterosexual teenagers, no one would raise an eyebrow, even though some of the same mandates are in place.

There are times that people don't obey the law, and other people wink at them. It happens a lot when its one clearly defined societal group against another, whether that be in the underground railroad, or fishing nets preferred by Asians to keep them from competing, to the McCarthy era where liberals protected each other against a right-wing witch hunt, to the Roman days where christians vs. lions were great sport.

Isn't it interesting how talented conservative christians have become at oppressing others given their own history, and how easily the effects of this oppression are forgotten?
 
The mission of GLSEN is pretty much distorted in the article, that doesn't focus on such mission, but rather in the idea of demonizing an individual.

Anyone who suffered in Junior High or High School on the hands of bullies, many of them fueled by uninformed ideas that they got from their parents (like my parents) that is ok to bash the weak and "affeminated" kid.

By creating spaces in which Gay and Lesbian and heterosexual kids can learn from each other, is a wonderful way to promote understanding between people perceived as different. That is it. I understand the frustration of some parents, that wouldn't like their kids to learn to understand what the parents refuse to understand, but that is it.

It is very distresing that any effort to create speces in which human beings can learn from each other are attacked this way, but my hopes are that, for each kid that learn to love their neighbor as themselves regardless sexual orientation we will have a better world.
 
Paralleling the explosion of GSAs in schools has been the growth of GLSEN. Founded by Mr. Jennings in 1990, GLSEN has grown to include over 50 local chapters and uses its multimillion dollar budget to pursue its objectives. As described on its website, GLSEN’s mission “envisions a future in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”(2)

Did you miss this section? I understand the stated mission of GLSEN. I share it. I was in schools last school year and will be again this year speaking against bullying for any reason.

Care to respond to the post and the issue I raised instead one I didn't raise?

Understanding that bullying is inappropriate has nothing to do with the article I posted.
 
Grantdale and I seem to be raising a lot of points that indicate if this were heterosexual teenagers, no one would raise an eyebrow, even though some of the same mandates are in place.

Incorrect. Teachers are mandated reporters of such activities and a 15/16 year old girl cavorting with a "older man" as Kevin Jennings wrote would trigger a mandated report. Likewise if it was a female adult and a male student. Now whether child protective services would do anything about it is case specific. In the case of Brewster, I am not saying that the authorities would have done anything to the adult in the case but they may have gotten the boy some services to assist him.
 
Incorrect. Teachers are mandated reporters of such activities and a 15/16 year old girl cavorting with a "older man" as Kevin Jennings wrote would trigger a mandated report.

But this wasn't something he saw, it was something he was told, at a time that we believe a homosexual act itself was against the law.

Saying "incorrect" or questioning the relevance of things like pregnant girls being allowed to marry an underage father where illegal sex obviously occurred but is not prosecuted, or ignoring the many jurisdictions where statuatory rape is defined without regard to age difference, turning merely the age of the participants, doesn't discount them no matter how hard you try.

It just suggests that you are going to cleve to your position no matter what the facts are and ignore any examples that prove your obvious bias.

Saying "I did call the Massachusettes authorities..." in response to my point that this was an incident 17 years ago that should be interpreted under law no longer in effect, is non-responsive and an obvious duck of the issue.

Somebody who does that, and later says to a poster:
Care to respond to the post and the issue I raised instead one I didn't raise?

certainly is not lacking in the cojones department.
 
Warren,

What "bothers me" is a disturbig pattern. This isn't the first such article that has appeared on Agape, CWFA, FRC, etc etc that you have released in this way.

(And no, if you ask, I don't believe this particular piece will appear just on your blog. I anticipate it will appear elsewhere with little or no further editing.)

First the allegation, which in reading appears speculative. Use of lurid language. The turning of each claim into a question (a legal trick, hence the ref to Reisman). The strong language, but it's all just an "investigation" afterall. The personalizing. The lack of context, lack of background, lack of discusion of for more troublesome parallels. No follow-up. The fact that a person gets discussed but never contacted before, during or afterwards. The obvious but unsaid intent to whole article -- to provide a negative image of someone but no real substance to what may well be a very serious but wider issue.

In my day, we used to call this yellow journalism. I'm suggesting that is beneath you (or any other responsible commentator.)

I'll get to the point-by-point.
 
Pilot Issue
As I stated in my profile, I am just starting out in college. Therefore I don't have any college stories to write about as of now. I need your help. If you have a College Classic for me that you would like me to post, send it to me. Thank you for all your help.

I will not be changing any part of the stories that are sent to me except for the names because of legal issues. I will edit out any inappropriate material. I will also check for spelling and grammatical errors.

Here is my E-mail: jfifield123@yahoo.com
 
Good grief, this is why narrow column blogs are awful for this type of exchange.

I'd still be interested in your view about what the criminal laws would have resulted in (and whether that alone constituted a much more "abusive situation" for all involved) but I guess you'll get around to it.

Okey dokey…

1. what % of "children" have had sex at 16?
>> According to CDC surveys here about 30%. Why?

Because that means one-third of children should be turned over to the authorities. Not to their parents, but the authorities. And parents should also turn their children over to the authorities, yes or no?

(Our view: No)

---------------------------
2. Some do, and will, regardless of your opinion on the matter.
>>Indeed, didn't say KJ should have known about it or prevented it.

This is a clarifying comment. The issue is: what is done in response to knowing about it.

---------------------------
3. On that, find out what % of births to under 16yo girls are to men. Is this higher, much higher or very much higher than the number of men in gaol for stat. rape?
>> I have no idea why that is relevant to the article.

Data on the subject does indicate a high number of pregnancies to young teen women to adult men many years older than themselves. Presumably these <16yo girls are using doctors, health centres, hospitals, often still at school and living with their parents, and perhaps even involving a psychologist such as yourself. And yet, nobody appears to report the situation.

Rather than this being a story about Jennings, this should suggest to you that something far more widespread is at work. Are all those professionals negligent (or, possibly even criminal) -- or are you leaving out part of the equation?

(and that question is rhetorical. I know the answer. Your clue is to ponder why "parental notification laws" are being pushed for in some quarters.)

---------------------------
4. does it bother you that a pregnant teen can get married in several States without parental consent? If they get married, does it bother you that a 15yo is having sex?
>> Again, your point is? (I do like question marks) And what states would those be?

Well, be honest. Do you personally have an issue with young teens having sex per se, or with sex occurring out of wedlock regardless of the age? That's my point.

The last I heard was that 6 States permit such marriages: including Florida and Georgia. I understand even Pennsylvania will permit such marriages with Court approval. Here's the first site that popped up in a google : read the "under 18". I haven't run through and added up the States from that site.

Elsewhere you have discussed early-teen sex as being "harmful" (in the context of maturity etc). I presume your view has nothing to do with being legally married, but simply with the age of the young person involved?

---------------------------
5. ever wonder if "Brewster" is a real name? Same person? Age and dates correct?
>>Yes, he has declined to address that issue to reporters.

OK, have/would you also use false names and refuse to provide identifying information when talking and wanted to ref a particular case? I hope you would.

---------------------------
6. rather than speculate based on what you want them to be, find out EXACTLY what the laws -- including criminal laws -- were around these occasions. Unless you know, the directives in there about what Jennings should have done are unwarranted.
>> I did call the Massachusetts authorities and asked them the hypothetical as did the Washington Times reporter. According the MA authorities, if a 16 year old boy was having sex, it should have been reported to either the school or the state. What I was unsure of until I heard the Iowa talk was if KJ really knew Brewster was sexually active. The Iowa talk makes it clear he knew.

See point 4. Presenting hypotheticals are useless for the purposes of investigating individuals cases as there's always a rider -- such as "on a case-by-case basis" -- in the regulations.

Who were these "Massachusetts authorities". If they are with a CP dept. I am quite sure they would have blown you off if you appeared and said "Here's Jennings and here's a hypothetical -- tell me exactly what he should have done". A dept. official should know you don't answer questions like that. Or, they are a fool.

It may help you to know: we both have extensive knowledge of and practical experience with duty-of-care and privacy issues (and, alas, such govt bodies). The mechanisms vary, but the practical intent of the regulations are now largely aligned in most developed Western countries.

---------------------------
7. we know very little about the young man/men. You seem to be creating a mythical youth based on what you think he should or should not be doing and feeling. And from that, determing that he must be abused. Sheer speculation.
>> I did not create the myth. KJ did and continues to. I am simply reading and listening to what Mr. Jennings said. How am I speculating? Doesn't it bother you that there are there discrepancies in the story?

It would bother me if this was the one and the same young man and was being used when fact was required instead of illustration.

You are speculating that abuse was occuring -- and that from that Jennings was required to inform the authorities. See points 4 and 6.

---------------------------
8. the ending all those statements with a ? -- have you been taking writing lessons from Judith Reisman? > "It should raise questions for many: has Warren Throckmorton been stealing money from Grove City College? That is a question he MUST answer before he should be trusted, and so far that is something he never has answered."
>> ? And the loot is safe in GCC.

I'm not saying it isn't. I also didn't say you were a thief. Soooo clever hey?

I'm also well aware how to turn a potentially libelous article with the use of "?" Save from the law, sure, but it's an unethical practice frequently used to smear a person.

Google "push polling" for further info.

---------------------------
9. because of all above, this reads as one long "Have you stopped beating your wife?" trick question.
>> So the story discrepancies and his response to Brewster in the Iowa story doesn't bother you? (Yes, I do love ?) The reporting thing is a problem but he had said, "For all you teachers out there, I should have reported this to my school at the least. It turned out ok, but by law and out of respect for the school, you should report these things." I think he would show an awareness that there is some value in adults providing guidance in addition to affirmation.

Yes? No? Isn't that the issue?

If you were to write a piece exploring when and why it is appropriate to report (i.e. looking at duty-of-care vs. privacy issues for teachers) perhaps using psychologists as your starting point I believe you may actually provide a useful and informative article. As it is, it reads like a deliberated hatchet job on an individual.

Your final reference to GLSEN only further emphasizes that perception. As a bald statement, people should always follow the law; including people who work with youth. (Send Cardinal Law an email if you seek an alternate view to our own.)

Frankly, Jennings could drop dead tomorrow and that would make utterly no difference to the need for GLSEN or their methodology -- you do realize that, I hope.

I again ask that you do send it to Jennings. He's free to comment, or ignore you.
 
Because that means one-third of children should be turned over to the authorities. Not to their parents, but the authorities. And parents should also turn their children over to the authorities, yes or no?

Not necessarily. a) most kids who are having sex are doing so with a peer and b) parents are not mandated reporters.

3. I disagree that these statutory rapes are not being reported. Furthermore, teachers are not investigators or prosecutors, they are required to report. It sounds to me like you are excusing Jennings because you think it is common.

4. I am most concerned with age and exploitation. Some kids can do ok with younger marriages, although I think those kids are fewer and farther between as adolescence becomes more prolonged.

5. I only use the name because he does.

6. I did offer a hypothetical and they did answer (dang fools :) - It is a pretty easy hypothetical however. I also talked to the Concord Academy people as well.

I am not sure I agree about Jennings influence on GLSEN and their methods. But I agree that it would continue and provide the same type of program and materials.
 
parents are not mandated reporters. Yes, I know -- I'm wondering why they are not. If the "correct solution" is to mandate handing young people over to an authority then parents would surely want to be the very first to do so. Or are we missing something here...

3. You may disagree. Plainly, some cases are reported. As this has nothing to do with Jennings per se -- the point was that there is quite obviously a "vast conspiracy" out there "hiding" these crimes from the justice system. Doctors, teachers, clinics, parents, psychologists… they all appear to be in on it. I can well imagine why this mandated reporting is ignored, but I was hoping you would offer a rationale or two (even if you need not agree with them).

(And curses, you've compelled me to go search on a disk for this…) AGI had an interesting paper on this several years ago. If the link is dead, I can forward.

4. Exploitation, right… we don't have any difficulty with that as the overwhelming concern. If there had been any hint of coercion/abuse etc in this case we wouldn't be having this discussion.

I just wonder if you have thought about the consequences for a 16 year old (or the 19 year old) who thereby found himself in detention after breaking the 1988 sodomy laws. But, then again, maybe prison rape didn't occur in Massachusetts. Or criminal records.

5. I'm not fussed either.

6. Well, yes they are fools if you mentioned someone by name because that means they were not discussing a hypothetical. I assume you wouldn't have a problem telling others which office you rang? You also mention this was 1988, and not today, I hope.

With the demise of MA law with Lawrence there is no longer the issue of the criminal laws applying at that time, and all the problems that caused. Even better, I am now reliably informed that you're after a "51A" form (I'm on the phone with an expat) and, yes, those are on-line. Urgh, doesn't this sector invent any new acronyms, ever… SAIN, CPT, DSS…

OK, here you go. DSS site of subject. Includes all you need on a single web page -- and no surprises on there, looks very standard. Now, where was I:

With today's legislation and and the equality of it for both gay and straight, nothing pops out as problematic. I'll still assume most such non-coercive sexuality cases will be over-looked by many, involving young gay men probably less so, but at least it's on an equal footing.

That still leaves a question I did have for you: without hiding behind black-letter law, would it be more or less harmful to that 16 year old youth to have a) advised and not reported b) advised and not reported, but also mentioned it to a trust-worthy colleague c) reported knowing full well that this would automatically be handed by the criminal justice system?

We'd have selected b) in 1988, mainly because of those sodomy statues.

Actually -- Jennings himself was (I assume) breaking the sodomy crime laws at the time. Should he have handed himself and all known partners in crime over to the police? Jeepers, another black mark against his name…

Come to think of it, we have also broken such laws. We are criminals-at-large! (Don't ask me where, just in case they're watching your blog.)
 
Technically at the time, oral and anal sex were crimes for both gays and straights (that would be everybody, except the asexuals among us). However, teachers would have been required to report no matter what their personal bedroom habits were. Barney Frank had come out in 1987 and Massachusetts passed an anti-discrimination law in 1989. According to Jennings he was out to his administration, etc. Can we leave this rabbit trail in the garden?

I am a mandated reporter as well and I know what this means. You report, DSS decides. I have felt the weight of these reports. But here is the thing: the kid is not prosecuted. Where a kid is out of control, advise and not report is not a service to a 15-16 year old. There is still time to intervene helpfully.

This whole discussion has moved from whether Jennings had a reason to report to whether he should have reported given that he had a reason.
 
WT: I disagree that these [heterosexual] statutory rapes are not being reported. Furthermore, teachers are not investigators or prosecutors, they are required to report. It sounds to me like you are excusing Jennings because you think it is common.

Yes these things are reported quite frequently. You may assume they are not being reported simply because you do not hear about them. And the reason you do not hear about them is because NO ONE (besides Planned Parenthood) is saying that they should NOT be reported! Quite unlike what some of you are doing here... It's appalling actually...
 
Thanks for the information. Interesting blog.
 
Warren,

Technically at the time, oral and anal sex were crimes for both gays and straights

False. Griswold overturned that assumption in 1965, followed by a succession of cases that gutted the laws against heterosexuals -- married or unmarried.

Contrasting that, Bowers in 1986 ruled on a George sodomy statute that "technically" covered both gay and straight specifically found that these prior cases did not apply to gays. Heterosexuals excluded but homosexuals, they said, had no such privacy or liberty protections. That ruling was only overturned with Lawrence in 2003.

But as a heterosexual, we neither expect you to know or appreciate these facts because they've never had any impact on your life. Unless you are claiming that you and you're wife consulted a law book and acted accordingly??? Actually, spare us an answer to that one :-)

According to Jennings he was out to his administration, etc.

False. You quoted it: "fired from my first job for being gay … I was a closeted gay teacher…" Or, do you now prefer the version in the book?

Recognize both Jennings and Brewster, and you will begin to recognize the perversity of the criminal laws that Massachusetts applied in 1988.

But here is the thing: the kid is not prosecuted.

False. The law made no such provision.

In widespread practice, police use this to extract confessions and false allegations from one party (typically the younger) in order to secure a prosecution. Having turned Crown evidence (or whatever) they would then be released. This is a sordid part of the history of these laws that you may perhaps not wish to acknowledge, but there is a reason they were called "The Blackmailer's Charter".

Even if you have not met people who have been through this -- and we have -- there is more than enough literature covering the subject. Quite apart from the criminal charges bought against someone, those who turned false accuser were themselves often horribly traumatized by the occasions and carry a deep sense of guilt throughout their lives.

Warren, you are professionally trained to examine and consider the personal dynamics around such an events. Do so -- from Brewster's perspective, not your own.

Where a kid is out of control, advise and not report is not a service to a 15-16 year old. There is still time to intervene helpfully.

As a blanket statement, false, particularly for adolescents. You should know better. The fact that the law now says you must report is not evidence that such an approach is the best -- it is simply the law. If the law is an ass, I hope others are attempting to modify them. As we said, the current regime in Massachusetts looks a good workable one -- but we're not discussing 2005 and we're not discussing the current environment where the criminal law recognizes a crime against an innocent party rather than a "moral outrage".

(And note: if you next intend to accuse us of being "flexible" or against mandatory reporting -- Victorian law has very strong mandated reporting and we have yet to find a single occasion where we've even considered doing otherwise. Our regime works very well with today's laws, and provides essential protections for young or vulnerable people. We have had no qualms about disciplining or on occasion dismissing staff for not following these reporting procedures and have a reputation for being very inflexible on the matter. Frankly, we don't like the way some of your conversation is being reflected at us.)

You have implied otherwise, but there is utterly no evidence that Brewster's sexuality per se was problematic to him and, to the contrary, it is clear that the young man did indeed stabilize and mature (like anyone his age). Jennings was able to follow Brewster's progress over the next few years until his successful graduation let's not forget. On the face of it, the advice and not reporting appears to have worked quite well enough.

You are laboring to show it but have not presented any evidence that the young man was abused in 1988, or that Jennings showed poor judgement in not reporting the conversation in 1988. Determining that he was so obliged by reference to current law and current environment is simplistic.

But please do detail: what would you have done as a "helpful intervention" in 1988? Specifically how would this have been better for Brewster? Please don't hide behind the current law.

And finally, perhaps you might like to discuss why your allegations about Jennings have not changed throughout what appears an ongoing campaign against GLSEN. You are presenting this as the smoking gun, but you certainly didn't need these latest "revelations" several months ago. At that time you specifically attacked him by using the same misquote that you now describe as a "defensible".

Only your "evidence" has changed and, as someone who has frequently needs to investigate such allegations -- and not merely report on them -- that sort of behavior is an invitation to treat the allegation warily.

PS Have you asked Jennings for a comment yet?

PPS Please accept usual comment about hating narrow column blogs
 
Nice try Marty,

Perhaps Warren's readers would instead appeciate reading what Planned Parenthood actually say and do, rather than what the American Family Association claim that they do. This is PP's standard HIPAA statement -- you'll find it throughout the organisation. Note that they specifically state they will conform to mandated reporting laws.

Beyond that -- perhaps the readers would also like to know where all this rubbish started. It was an anti-abortion group set-up, and if you read carefully you'll also note that when PP was investigated they were exonerated.

Seperate to the mandated reporting laws, PP has several on-going legal disputes about the release of client files.
 
grantdale: Our experiences with kids must be radically different. The kid seemed out of control to me. I realize Jennings reports him to be a success but given the discrepancies in his stories, I do not know what to believe. I started in residential treatment and have worked with college and under all my career. I do not see that letting slide what was described is most of the time in a child's interest.
 
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