|For Immediate Release||For More Information Contact:|
|April 3, 2002||Dan Wolter (651) 296-0640|
St. Paul, MN - House Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty (R-Eagan) called on officials at the University of Minnesota to put a halt to the planned publishing of a book endorsing sexual relations between adults and children by the University of Minnesota Press. A firestorm erupted on Tuesday as the publisher's intent to publish the book, which was rejected by numerous publishers because of its controversial nature, came to light.
"In recent weeks, the headlines have been filled with the stories of victims sexually abused as children," said Pawlenty. "This kind of disgusting victimization of children is intolerable and the state should have no part in it. The University of Minnesota should put a halt to this book immediately."
Pawlenty said that preliminary research by House staff indicates that the University of Minnesota Press receives partial funding from the University of Minnesota and its publishing criteria include providing "service to the people of the state of Minnesota." He said it is a department of the University, which ultimately controls the publisher.
"There is a difference between freedom of speech and state-sanctioned support for illegal, indecent, harmful activity such as molesting children," added Pawlenty. "I support academic freedom, but I also believe in academic responsibility and protecting kids."
The House Majority Leader said he raised the issue because he wanted to give the University of Minnesota an opportunity to take action to end criticism of its role in publishing a book with such harmful content.
Pawlenty concluded, "The U's role in publishing this kind of trash is very troubling. We deserve to know why the name of one of our most respected institutions is being associated with this endorsement of child molestation."