Student claims he was punished for supporting gun rights
A Texas student alleges that he was demoted from his position as student government president for voicing support for the Second Amendment during a private conversation.
Quade Lancaster, a student studying business at Lone Star College, Tomball—a community college in Texas—told Campus Reform that he served as the president of his school’s Student Government Association until he was involved in a heated discussion in the wake of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
The argument happened in early March, when Lancaster walked into a discussion among other student government officers regarding gun violence and legislation. When students turned to Lancaster, he said he opined that “guns are not responsible for the individuals who carry them.”
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“I explained that I don’t think taking guns away will solve anything,” Lancaster told Campus Reform, adding that he also admitted to his fellow officers that he is a military veteran who was medically discharged, which he claimed only made them even more hostile.
As the hostility in the room grew, Lancaster realized that he wasn’t getting anywhere. He said he grabbed his bookbag and told the other student officers that he had enough of the “bulls**t,” and then left the room.
Lancaster recounted that Shannon Marino, the school administrator who oversees the student government, pulled him into her office the next day and told him that he would no longer serve as the President, and that he was being “demoted” to Vice President.
When he asked for an explanation, he said Marino cited his use of profanity—specifically, his use of “bulls**t” during the conversation on gun laws the day before—as the reason why he deserved to be demoted from his position.
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Happening just a day after the alleged incident, Lancaster alleges that the demotion came without any investigation or due process, and that the alleged reason he was demoted—his use of profanity—is cover for the real reason he was demoted, his conservative views.
“I explained to Marino that everyone in that room was dropping F-Bombs and that I held my peace and only said ‘bulls**t’ as I left the room,” Lancaster said, adding that when he pointed this double-standard out, Marino came up with a new reason to explain why Lancaster was being demoted.
“She informed that I had no right to ask for an explanation [of my demotion] and that I was not allowed to express my alternate viewpoint [on gun laws] during a private conversation because as the President I represent all views,” Lancaster told Campus Reform.
He then recalled Marino telling him, “from one white person to another," that he was not allowed to have an opinion or be offended by whatever might be said on the subject of gun rights.
Campus Reform called and emailed Marino multiple times to get her side of the story, but has not received a response.
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“I was censored for my conservative opinions and told that as the President I was not allowed to speak my own views,” said Lancaster, adding that other members of student government face no similar restriction because they all lean left.
Now, Lancaster is the Vice President of the Student Government, but wants his old position back, describing the situation as part of a broader pattern of discrimination against conservatives at Lone Star College.
As Campus Reform reported in February, the Young Conservatives of Texas chapter at Lone Star’s CyFair campus had its institutional recognition revoked after it sponsored a debate on abortion. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, that club is now suing the school.
“Lone Star College has made several attempts to censor and discourage any conservative ideals on campus,” Lancaster said, adding that it is a broader pattern seen across academia.
“It’s a huge problem at college campuses everywhere,” he asserted. “I have learned from all of this that college campuses are corrupting and misleading students… and I believe this does not represent the best interests of students and citizens in our country.”
Campus Reform also reached out to Lone Star College multiple times to request the school’s account of what took place, but has not received a response. This article will be updated if and when a reply is received from either Marino or the college.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen