A Northwestern University psychology professor, who is under fire for allowing a live sex act during an after-class demonstration, is apologizing for his actions.
On February 21, professor John Michael Bailey invited students in his "Human Sexuality" class to attend an optional seminar dealing with fetishes. About 100 of the 600 students chose to go. During the seminar, Faith Kroll, who the Chicago Sun-Times called a "self described exhibitionist," stripped down and had her fiance use a sex toy on her.
Bailey said the demonstration was not planned, but when he said he couldn't think of a reason that students should not see it, he allowed Kroll to proceed.
When word got out about it last week, University President Morton Schapiro said he was "troubled and disappointed" by the demonstration. He said in a statement:
"I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member. I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary or in keeping with Northwestern University's academic mission."
At first Bailey was defiant, telling the Chicago Tribune, "If I decide to say I shouldn't have done this, it will be because this could have been avoided, not because anybody has been harmed by it."
However, Bailey relented over the weekend, issuing a statement in which he apologized, saying he would never allow such a demonstration ever again. However, he did say he still feels the demonstration was harmless.
Bailey said he wasn’t sure if he went beyond “the actual guarantees of academic freedom.”
“It is important to separate my own opinion about what academic freedom should entail from the actual guarantees of academic freedom,” he told the Sun-Times. “I do not know if I crossed the latter line.”
He did admit that he crossed the line “from good to bad judgment,” he said. “I am really, really sorry about that”
However, students apparently don't think any lines were crossed. There are no reports of students complaining about what they saw. They were repeatedly warned that the seminar would be graphic, and obviously those who stayed for it had no problem with it.
"It is probably something I will remember the rest of my life," student Justin told the Tribune. "I can't say that about my Econ 202 class and the material that I learned there."