Instructor tries to quarantine gun owners in back of class

A teaching assistant at the University of Utah tried to create a “Second Amendment zone” in a classroom, forcing students who legally carry to stand in a tiny, taped-off area during class.

Upon being alerted to the situation, the university promptly overruled the instructor and assigned them to non-teaching duties for the duration of the semester.

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“Concealed carry is protected under your second amendment rights! 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 professor wrote in a “weapons policy” provided to students.

“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 3x3 taped square on the floor in the very back of the classroom, that will be shared with all other gun carriers,” the policy elaborates. “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.”

Utah State Representative Karianne Lisonbee shared the document after a student provided her the classroom policy file, remarking in the post that she is “livid” about the situation.

“A University of Utah Professor doesn’t understand the Bill of Rights and University policy on free speech - which is disturbing enough,” Lisonbee wrote. “But even more egregious, she is seeking to break state law and deprive students of their rights.”

According to university policy and Utah law, students have the right to carry on campus as long as they have a permit or license to carry a gun.

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A spokesperson for the University of Utah provided Campus Reform with the following statement indicating that the policy has been removed from the syllabus:

“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 university explained.

“The graduate student instructor has apologized and has received additional training about the university’s policies,” the statement added, noting that the student instructor “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,” the spokesperson concluded.

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