Archive for Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Wagle tells TV’s O’Reilly that KU class offers porn

April 29, 2003


Kansas State Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, had taken her criticism of a Kansas University sex education class to the floor of the Kansas Senate.

And Tuesday night, Wagle and a KU senior Jessica Zahn took their crusade to end KU professor Dennis Dailey's class to a national television audience -- Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor."

Zahn told host Bill O'Reilly the syllabus of the class said that it was designed to look with depth into human sexuality "and the other avenues around it."

"I wasn't expecting what I consider porn videos," Zahn said.

In the relatively short segment, Zahn and Wagle were highly critical of Dailey's "Human Sexuality in Everyday Life" class. They were interviewed by O'Reilly from a Wichita studio.

The story on Wagle followed stories about Sen. Hillary Clinton criticizing President Bush, an argument over saying grace at Virginia Military Institute, and the bust of an Internet porn ring in Ohio.

Last month, the Wichita Republican introduced a budget amendment aimed at rescinding state support for departments within the state's universities that allow instructors to buy or show obscene videos in their classes on human sexuality.

Aimed at Dailey's class, the amendment survived votes in the Senate and House but was line-item vetoed April 21 by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Wagle is considering trying to override the veto.

O'Reilly asked Zahn if Dailey shows students "hard-core porn videos."

"It depends what you would consider.... They probably wouldn't appear on at midnight on any of THOSE TV channels. I don't think they would show them," Zahn said.

O'Reilly asked Zahn to explain the controversy.

"The controversy started on the first day of class," said Zahn, a Linwood senior who is serving as an intern for Wagle. "He explained to us that it would be highly explicit material. And a girl got up to walk out of class and he proceeded to belittle her in front of probably 500 people and gave her the finger."

O'Reilly expressed surprise and allowed Zahn to continue.

"He's since given other students the finger or the equivalent in class. This has continued on female anatomy day. He showed us quite a few pictures of these genitals of females, making comments about anatomy, such as which ones were beautiful and what kind of activities they were engaged in and that one of them, he thought, resembled an apparition. That he had just seen the Virgin Mary. And then, as he was firing across these pictures, he proceeded to show us what he said were the pictures of a 5- and 10-year-old girl."

O'Reilly cut in, "That's outrageous," and asked her why she would stay in a class like that.

Zahn said she wanted to drop the class and told Wagle she was planning to drop the class. But she found out she couldn't get her money back.

"I assumed that if I didn't stay in this class, this would continue, because I didn't know if there would be anyone else to come forward," Zahn said.

O'Reilly asked Wagle about her efforts to get Dailey's class shut down, despite the university's insistence Dailey has the intellectual right to teach the class.

"That's right. He has freedom of speech, and certainly the university can hire him. But the taxpayers don't have to foot this bill," Wagle said. "We, like many other states, are in a financial crisis right now, and I look at this as very frivolous and unnecessary spending. I don't see the academics that are going on in the classroom."

Wagle said she talked to a number of students who have taken the class in the past.

"I compared it to the same class at other Kansas universities," she said. "And believe me, these same obscene approaches, the sexual harassment in the classroom is not going on."

Wagle said Zahn has also told her that Dailey picks women out of his class and makes inappropriate comments, such as "'Maybe there's five of you on the first three rows I'm very attracted to.' Or, if somebody gets up to walk out, he actually accused one girl of leaving because she had to go masturbate. I mean, what's going on in this classroom? It is obscene."

O'Reilly commented that "you could file charges against somebody" for that kind of harassment. The host asked Wagle what KU's response has been to her charges.

"I was so upset after I talked to a lot of students and found that this professor has a very widespread reputation for having heavy porn," Wagle said. "He goes to porn night in the fraternities. He goes to porn night in the dormitories. He advertises his class. Everybody knows what's going on. The department had bought him his videos. I believe they are what I would consider pornography. They are full sexual acts, all different kinds."

O'Reilly asked her if the school knows what he's doing and if they sanction it.

"Absolutely," she said.

O'Reilly asked Wagle what she would do next.

"I carried an amendment and it passed to defund that college and the governor vetoed it," Wagle said. "We have a veto session that starts tomorrow (Wednesday) and we're going to once again to make sure that the people of Kansas don't have to pay for this."

O'Reilly told her to let him know how it works out and that he'd put in a call to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who O'Reilly mistakenly referred to as a "he," to get the governor's response.

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