by Ellen Babay
Upper Dublin school officials are apologizing for not having fully vetted the background of a self-billed “life coach” whose past came to light when students started searching his name online during an assembly at which he spoke.
Turns out, the speaker, Jason C. Jean once ran “the ultimate swingers vacation” website.
The message by Principal Robert Schultz was sent to parents and guardians and cited “a number of concerns” that were raised about Thursday’s assembly for 11th- and 12th-grade students at the high school, as well as about “the credentials and background of the speaker.”
The speaker addressed some seniors last year, the principal said, and was invited back to meet with a larger group based on “very positive reviews of that gathering."
In an email, Schultz declined to comment beyond the listserv message. He did not name the speaker. A phone call to Upper Dublin School District headquarters wasn't returned.
But students and social media posts identified the speaker as Jean, a central Pennsylvania motivational speaker.
Jean -- whose website and Tumblr page show a photograph from an event at the high school last May -- confirmed he spoke at the school this week.
In an email Saturday, Jean said he was "unaware" of any issues with the assembly until he saw news reports about the apology.
In the wake of Thursday’s event, questions about Jean’s past have risen. He is the founder of SwingFest, which the event’s website calls “the ultimate swingers vacation for adult couples and singles looking to get away for some sexy adult fun.”
Upper Dublin High School senior Amanda Willis, who attended the event, called Jean “a terrible speaker.”
“He was talking about how he played football for Penn State and that he was drafted into the Phillies at age 16, and that he owned a pasta sauce company and various night clubs,” Willis said.
It was Jean’s mention of pasta sauce that spurred Willis and a friend to Google the self-proclaimed life coach. They wanted to know what company he helmed.
But the results went beyond Bolognese or red gravy. They found an unflattering portrait of him on one blog post.
“We posted it on Twitter during the assembly,” Willis said. “Heads started shooting up and looking around. And they retweeted and retweeted.”
The most Jean touched on his past during the speech was a mention of getting suspended from school for drinking at the age of 14, according to Willis. In fact, “he said he used to drink a lot in high school and said we should call our parents when we were drunk," Willis said.
Indeed, a quick Internet search, as well as Jean’s own website, suggests his background may be somewhat more colorful.
Jean appears to have been highly active in the adult-entertainment industry, described in a Playboy Radio press release as the “King of Swing” and giving a “Swinging 101” interview to Miami.com in 2009. ...