A teaching assistant at the University of Utah is being disciplined after enforcing a “Second Amendment zone” in her classroom — punishing and attempting to humiliate students who choose to carry in class.
Carrying in class is legal, according to both Utah law and university policy.
The taped-off area in the classroom singled out those college students who carried a firearm on their person as second-class citizens. The instructor announced the policy in a class syllabus, Campus Reform reported.
“Concealed carry is protected under your Second Amendment rights!” the syllabus said.
“However, because the University of Utah reserves the right to restrict elements of the First Amendment on campus to specifically sanctioned ‘free speech zones,’ I am reserving the right to restrict elements of the Second Amendment in my own classroom,” the classroom guide continued.
“If you feel that it is somehow at all appropriate to bring a gun to class (hint: it is not — this is absurd, antisocial and frightening behavior), you are restricted to spending your time in class in my ‘Second Amendment zone,’ a 3×3 taped square on the floor in the very back of the classroom, that will be shared with all other gun carriers,” the guide also said.
“This zone also does not include a desk, because desks are reserved for students who respect the personal and psychological safety of their classmates and instructor,” it added.
Utah state Rep. Karianne Lisonbee raised awareness about the discriminatory policy on Facebook earlier this week, after a concerned student alerted her to it.
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“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,” Lisonbee said.
Then she provided a Facebook update about the college’s disciplinary action against the unnamed graduate assistant (her post is no longer publicly available, but can be seen by clicking a link embedded in this article).
“Update: Great news! I have been assured that this teacher has been reprimanded for publishing a syllabus against university policy,” she said.
“She was asked and has issued an apology to her students. Her syllabus has been retracted by the university, and they are committed to making sure that she receives proper training,” she continued.
“Thank you to the university and to the brave students who raised this issue. The price of liberty is constant vigilance,” she added.
A University of Utah spokesperson told Campus Reform about the precise nature of the instructor’s discipline.
“University of Utah officials recently learned that a graduate teaching assistant included a statement in an undergraduate course syllabus that violated both state law and university policy. The statement has been removed from the syllabus, and students in the class have been alerted to the error,” the statement said.
“The graduate student instructor has apologized and has received additional training about the university’s policies,” it added, noting that the graduate student “will not teach this semester and will instead have other assignments.”
“The approval of course syllabuses is handled by individual departments, and syllabuses are expected to comply with all university policies,” it concluded.