A University of Utah professor-in-training wanted to add a lesson in discrimination to the class syllabus. It seems that the unidentified teaching assistant greeted the class with a set of rules that clearly mark those who exercise their Second Amendment right as second-rate students in the teacher’s mind.
The instructor’s course outline packet included a diatribe against the university’s campus carry policy. “Concealed carry is protected under your second amendment [sic] rights! However … I am reserving the right to restrict elements of the second amendment [sic] in my own classroom.” The memo goes on to say that those who bring a firearm to class would be “restricted to spending your time in my class in my ‘second amendment zone’ a 3x3 taped square on the floor in the very back of the classroom.”
The inanity of this request—the so-called “Second Amendment zone” didn’t even include desks because “desks are reserved for students who respect the personal and psychological safety of their classmates and instructor”—didn’t sit well with one supporter of our Bill of Rights. The student, who requested to not be identified but holds a concealed-carry permit, contacted a state representative and the instructor has since been disciplined.
Utah State Rep, Karianne Lisonbee posted her response to the situation on Facebook: “I am livid. A University of Utah Professor doesn't understand the Bill of Rights and University policy on free speech—which is disturbing enough. But even more egregious, she is seeking to break state law and deprive students of their rights. Please share.”
In a statement, a University of Utah spokesman said the instructor was forced to redact the syllabus and apologize to students. Officials also said the instructor could not teach this semester and has to learn the school’s policy.
Ironically, the brouhaha arose in a communications class. We can only guess that open debate and difference of opinions wouldn’t have been on the agenda this semester under the offending instructor’s plan.