Archive for Friday, May 23, 2003

Sebelius signs bill spawned by KU sex ed class controversy

May 23, 2003


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today signed into law a provision aimed at a Kansas University human sexuality class.

The decision comes after weeks of controversy over KU professor Dennis Dailey's teaching methods.

State Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, accused Dailey of showing pornographic videos, making vulgar remarks to female students and promoting pedophilia in his human sexuality class.

Dailey, an award-winning instructor, denied the allegations and a subsequent investigation by KU exonerated him.

The provision, authored by Wagle, will require KU and other state funded, post-secondary schools to develop policies for human sexuality courses on the use of sexually explicit materials, teaching about the issue of pedophilia, and sexual harassment.

The measure was part of the last budget bill aproved by the Legislature.

Sebelius signed the bill into law today.

In regards to the Wagle provision, Sebelius issued a prepared statement that described the measure as "an acceptable balance that will preserve academic freedom and require university administrators to adopt policies on issues of concern to many Kansans."

On April 21, Sebelius vetoed another measure by Wagle that would have withheld $3.1 million in state funding from the KU School of Social Welfare if it had been determined that obscene videos were shown in the class. Wagle did not seek a legislative override of that amendment, instead pushing through the alternative amendment.

Wagle aired her charges against Dailey several times on nationally televised talk shows. Meanwhile, several of Dailey's students rallied to his side.

In her statement, Sebelius said the newest Wagle provison would have only a slight effect on public universities and keeps the Legislature "within appropriate boundaries" when it comes to getting involved in course curiculum.

Wagle said she was pleased Sebelius accepted the provision.

"It's going to force the University of Kansas to deal with this issue," she said. "They've been putting their head in the sand,"

KU did not have an immediate response.

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