Image: Washington Monthly
Yesterday, Utah State Rep for District 14 Karianne Lisonbee spoke out on social media against a professor at the University Of Utah who created a “Second Amendment Zone” in their classroom. The professor in an email accused students who choose to carry on campus of exhibiting “absurd, antisocial, and frightening” behavior. This zone took the form of a 3×3 taped square on the floor in the back of the room. Representative Lisonbee called such an action an attempt to break state law and deprive students of their rights in her public denouncement:
“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.”
However, Utah law is quite clear in its defense of the second amendment and if the University Of Utah receives public funding it too is bound to abide by the Constitution.
Utah Article I, Section 6. [Right to bear arms.]
“ The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.”
Representative Lisonbee has provided an new update on the escalating situation:
“Update: the University is working on addressing the issue with the professor. Instead of revealing the professor’s name, I’d like to give the University space to work through this internally for now.”
We reached out to the university for comment, and a spokesman confirmed the incident to us, issuing the following statement:
“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 graduate student instructor has apologized and has received additional training about the university’s policies. 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.”
Support the #CampusCarryNow initiative by ordering a t-shirt here.