Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2003

KU sex ed class once again to be topic on ‘O’Reilly Factor’

May 7, 2003


A Kansas University professor who teaches a sex ed class is expected to be a topic for a third time tonight on the nationally televised FoxNews program "The O'Reilly Factor."

In tonight's program, which begins at 7 on Sunflower Broadband's Channel 53, O'Reilly is expected to interview a former student of Dennis Dailey's about her criticisms of Dailey's teachings concerning adults having sex with children, according to state Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita.

Wagle distributed copies of the former student's letter to members of the Kansas Senate during a floor debate on the issue last week. The letter, which was unsigned, was one of four that Wagle distributed on the Senate floor.

Wagle, who has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor," has told host Bill O'Reilly she was trying to shut down Dailey's class because he shows pornography and because of the way he has treated women in the class.

Wagle appeared on the show April 29 with a KU student, Jessica Zahn, an intern for Wagle who was critical of Dailey's teaching style. O'Reilly had a follow-up show last Thursday that featured two other students, Mike Sullivan and Jen Hein, who defended Dailey.

However, O'Reilly didn't buy their argument and said, "If this man is saying he can't make a judgment about adults having sex with children, he doesn't deserve to be on the University of Kansas campus."

Wagle got a bill through the Legislature to defund KU's School of Social Welfare if it continued to allow Dailey to use what Wagle described as pornography in teaching his class. However, that portion of the bill was line-item vetoed by the governor.

Wagle's latest attempt to shut the class down is contained in the omnibus budget bill that was approved early this morning before the Kansas Legislature adjourned its 2003 session.

The proviso would require universities to give the Kansas Board of Regents their policies on the use of sexually explicit material, sexual harassment and governing discussion about pedophilia.

Nicole Corcoran-Basso, a spokeswoman for Sebelius, has said the governor had yet to see the proviso and would make a decision after studying it.

Wagle has continued her attacks in appearances on nationally televised shows. She was featured Friday night on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country."

Dailey, who has kept quiet during the fray, has relied on the university, students and the Kansas Board of Regents to come to his defense.

On Tuesday, 21 of his colleagues from the KU School of Social Welfare came to his defense, saying Wagle's attempt is a "direct threat to academic freedom."

And on Monday, Dailey received the Del Shankel Teaching Excellence Award during the Jayhawk Scholar Recognition Banquet.

Today, Dailey, in his last class of the semester, apologized to his students that they had to experience the controversy.

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