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By EMILY FREDRIX
Associated Press Writer
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Upset by videos used during a sexuality class at the University of Kansas, the state Senate passed a bill that would withhold $3 million in funding to the school.
The bill, passed Wednesday on a 24-13 vote, requires public universities to ban the purchase of such "obscene" material or lose funding for the offending department.
The measure, an amendment to the state budget proposal, targets a popular class taught for 20 years by award-winning professor Dennis Dailey.
Republican Sen. Susan Wagle said she offered the amendment after learning about the class from a student. She told colleagues that during the class Dailey displayed pictures of the genitalia of girls at ages 5 and 10, told female students to explore their own genitals as homework, and implied that a woman leaving for the restroom was going to masturbate.
"I think what is going on in this undergraduate class is obscene, and I want to make this type of activity not funded by the taxpayer," Wagle said.
Dailey, who has numerous teaching awards, declined to comment on the Senate vote or on Wagle's description of the class, but said Wednesday that his materials were designed for classroom use.
"These are educational films. They are made by educational organizations and used as part of the educational process," Dailey said.
University spokesman Todd Cohen said the university agreed.
The class consistently reaches the maximum enrollment of 500, Cohen said.
A 45-year-old student in the class Wednesday said she had initially been somewhat concerned.
"I was fearful and didn't want to view pornography," said Peg McFadden, a social work major. "But because he prepares you with a fine lecture before you view it, you're really prepared."
Dailey's class on Wednesday included a lively discussion of homosexuality and homophobia. Before students left, Dailey told them that the next lesson would include a video of "vivid homoerotic" acts.
Dailey is also leading a weekly seminar this semester for the campus' Ecumenical Christian Ministries and other religious groups.
On the Net:
Kansas Legislature: http://www.kslegislature.org
University of Kansas: http://www.ku.edu