A teaching assistant at the University of Utah is under fire for attempting to create a "Second Amendment zone," which was intended to segregate gun carriers from the rest of the class population.
It backfired, and the teaching assistant has been reassigned to other duties for the remainder of the semester.
What are the details?
The unnamed teaching assistant reportedly attempted to create a safe space in the classroom for those who oppose guns by figuratively quarantining those weapon-carrying students in a taped-off area without any desks.
Campus Reform reported that the area was about 3 feet by 3 feet, and did not contain a desk because "desks are reserved for students who respect the personal and psychological safety of their classmates and instructor."
The university reacted swiftly when the issue was brought to their attention and quashed the notion of a "Second Amendment zone" in the classroom or anywhere on campus.
A Facebook post by Utah state Rep. Karianne Lisonbee revealed the document that the teaching assistant reportedly created.
In an earlier iteration of the post, Lisbonee wrote, "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."
When the story began to pick up traction, and was addressed by school administration, Lisbonee added, "Update: Great news! I have been assured that this teacher has been reprimanded for publishing a syllabus against University policy. 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 Her syllabus has been retracted by the University and they are committed to making sure that she receives proper training. Thank you to the University and to the brave students who raised this issue. The price of liberty is constant vigilance. Please share!"
The full document read:
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.
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. 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.
What did the college say?
A spokesperson for the school told Campus Reform in a statement that the teaching assistant's 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 spokesperson said.
“The graduate student instructor has apologized and has received additional training about the university's policies,” the statement continued, and added that the teaching assistant “will not teach this semester and will instead have other assignments” instead.
“The approval of course syllabuses is handled by individual departments, and syllabuses are expected to comply with all university policies,” the statement concluded.