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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

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Kline Repeats Calls for Removal of Controversial ‘Safe Schools Czar’

Rep. John Kline (R-MN), the top Republican on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, today repeated his call for the Obama Administration to immediately remove Kevin Jennings from his post as the top politically appointed official responsible for keeping America’s schools safe and drug free. Media reports have surfaced in recent days bringing to light numerous examples of Jennings’ lack of judgment, including his affiliation with organizations and events that have come under fire for promoting sexual activity among children. Jennings was not confirmed to his post by the U.S. Senate, leaving his appointment solely at the discretion of Administration officials. 

“It has been clear for months that Mr. Jennings demonstrates neither the judgment nor the responsibility to effectively serve in this post. He has no professional experience that qualifies him as an expert on keeping our children safe and free from drugs; indeed, news accounts have documented a track record that puts children in danger, whether it’s Mr. Jennings’ failure to report the sexual abuse of a student or his association with events that promote promiscuity among children,” said Kline. “I don’t know what more this Administration needs to see. The evidence is clear, and mounting. Kevin Jennings is the wrong individual to entrust with the safety of our schools, and he should immediately be removed from office.” 

On October 16, 2009, Kline wrote a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan calling for Jennings’ swift removal. At that time, Kline cited Jennings’ own admission about incidents that seem to disqualify him for the position he now holds. 

“Of his own accord, Mr. Jennings has written and spoken openly about numerous incidents in his past that directly controvert the mission of the office he now heads. He has acknowledged a history of drug use as a student, and he has shared the details of an incident in which a minor student confided in him regarding a dangerous sexual encounter with an adult, which Mr. Jennings failed to report to law enforcement or the student’s parents,” Kline wrote. 

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