Professor Takes Heat for Calling Cops on Student Who Discussed Guns in Class
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Thread: Professor Takes Heat for Calling Cops on Student Who Discussed Guns in Class

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Florida Panhandle

    Exclamation Professor Takes Heat for Calling Cops on Student Who Discussed Guns in Class

    A professor in Connecticut reported one of her students to the police after he gave a class presentation on why students and teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Now, free speech activists say the professor’s actions are what really need to be investigated.

    Last October, John Wahlberg and two classmates at Central Connecticut State University gave an oral presentation for a communications class taught by Professor Paula Anderson. The assignment was to discuss a “relevant issue in the media,” and the students presented their view that the death toll in the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting massacre would have been lower if professors and students had been carrying guns.

    That night, police called Wahlberg, a 23-year-old senior, and asked him to come to the station. When he arrived, they they read off a list of firearms that were registered in his name and asked where he kept them. Guns are strictly prohibited on the CCSU campus and residence halls, but Wahlberg says he lives 20 miles off-campus and keeps his gun collection locked up in a safe. No further action was taken by police or administrators.

    “I don’t think that Professor Anderson was justified in calling the CCSU police over a clearly non-threatening matter,” Wahlberg told The Recorder, the CCSU student newspaper that first reported the story. “Although the topic of discussion may have made a few individuals uncomfortable, there was no need to label me as a threat.”

    Wahlberg declined to comment further to, saying he did not want more media attention.

    According to The Recorder, Anderson cited safety as her reason for calling the police.

    “It is also my responsibility as a teacher to protect the well-being of our students, and the campus community at all times,” she told The Recorder. “As such, when deemed necessary because of any perceived risks, I seek guidance and consultation from the Chair of my Department, the Dean and any relevant University officials.”

    Anderson did not respond to calls from Campus police forwarded requests to university spokesman Mark McLaughlin, who declined to comment, citing Wahlberg’s privacy.

    Robert Shibley, vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), said Anderson's actions appeared to be out of line.

    “If all he did was discuss reasons for allowing guns on campus, it seems a bit much to call the police and grill him about it,” Shibley said. “If you go after students for just discussing an idea, that goes against everything a university is supposed to stand for.”

    Shibley said FIRE has seen many more cases of hair-trigger responses by administrators over anything gun-related since the Virginia Tech shooting.

    In 2007, Shibley noted, a student at Hamline University in Minnesota was suspended after writing a letter to an administrator arguing that carrying concealed weapons on campus may help prevent tragedies like the one at Virginia Tech. The student was allowed to return only after undergoing a psychological evaluation, he said.

    Shibley also cited an incident at Colorado College last year in which campus administrators denounced a flyer as "threatening and demeaning content" because it mentioned guns. He said the students who produced the flyer were found guilty of violating the school’s violence policy, which was added to their school records.

    “It is, of course, important that administrators identify real threats to students,” Shibley said. “But they need to use logic to discern whether a threat is real.”

    But Jerold Duquette, an associate professor of political science at CCSU who sits on the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Freedom, say the Wahlberg case is not so clear-cut.

    “This is a situation where both sides can come up with a reasonable explanation,” Duquette said.

    “[Wahlberg] certainly has a reason to complain, since he didn’t do anything directly threatening. But I wouldn’t say the administration has a reason to sanction or punish the professor or the police.... I don’t know if I would have done anything differently in the situation.”

    Katie Kasprzak, a spokeswoman for the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, suggested that the professor called the police because she disagreed with Wahlberg’s political views.

    "Critics of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus argue that colleges and universities are dedicated to the free flow of ideas,” she said. “Yet when a student gives a class presentation on a relevant issue in the media, it is acceptable to label the student as a threat? The only threat posed was a threat to the professor’s personal beliefs.”

    Duquette said there was no evidence to support that.

    “I think a lot of people see this as a liberal professor going after a student because he likes guns. I don’t know if that’s the case,” Duquette said, adding that more would need to be known about the incident.

    Last edited by lukem; 03-04-2009 at 05:13 PM.

  3. #2
    This is the kind of idiots teaching our kids.

    Well not my kids because I would not send them to a public school
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  4. #3
    Exactly. There's an old saying, "When you don't know how to DO anything, TEACH others how to do something." I've met very few conservatives in my life who were teachers. So this liberal "educator" denied a student his FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS because she has issue with his SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS! Sign me up for THAT class.
    You can run... but you'll just die tired. 3%

  5. #4
    wolfhunter Guest
    Better yet, sign her up for a Marksmanship and Gun Safety program. Preferably one with a 250-500 round course of fire as the exams.
    Last edited by wolfhunter; 03-04-2009 at 06:52 PM. Reason: grammar

  6. #5
    This is crazy. This teach should be brought up on charges for denying a student the right to freedom of speech. If I was the parents of this student, I would be talking him/her into filing for action. This can not be tolerated. I feel so bad for this student.
    "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    The larger issue to me is not that First or Second Ammendment rights were obstructed. The BIG problem is that this 'instructor' is indoctrinating a generation of people. We NEED to counteract that with positive and wide ranging indoctrination of our own. We need to demonstrate bullet-proof (no pun intended) logical, not emotional, reasons why our stance is superior to those who have an irrational fear. We need to win converts, not alienate them.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by schwei View Post
    We need to demonstrate bullet-proof (no pun intended) logical, not emotional, reasons why our stance is superior to those who have an irrational fear. We need to win converts, not alienate them.
    It's a shame WE need to do that. The reality is that there is not one instance of extreme gun control that resulted in either more freedom or less crime. History shows that gun ownership is a good thing. We can easily show examples throughout history that support our views, they can not.

  9. What is not reported or mentioned is what "exactly" did the teacher or other school administrators, "actually" say to the police. I would like to see a written report by the police or to the police about this. I would like to know what the police were told and how and by whom.

    I do not fault the police for calling the kid in and asking him about his weapons if they had reasonable suspicion that he could be a threat or if they are just trying to cover their butts in case something happened later but the real question here is "exactly" what type of complaint was made? Was it in writing? Did an Officer take it over the telephoen and where are his notes? What were the police told that made them suspicious enough or concerned enough to call the kid in in the first place?

    This kid may possibly have been libeled or slandered or both and he may well have a hell of a lawsuit against the University and the faculty member that called the Police.

    That is the way to go after these bastards, hit their pocketbooks. Maybe the kid should contact Judicial Watch or one of these other organizations like the Thomas Moore Law Center who may represent him for free.

    This is political correctness at its worst and anti-gun at the least not to mention the suppression of his right to free speech and let us not forget the perceived suppression of the free speech of every single other student in that class and possibly the entire University student body who now know that if they raise a subject not to the liking of the faculty it may well result in their being turned in to the "thought police" too.

    Boy, would that make one hell of a class action suit.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    After getting home, his first action should have been to call the police because of harassment from his professor. Demand they write a report. Then, attempt to file a lawsuit if possible. Start an SCCC chapter at the school and promote it by using posters conspicuously plastered all over the campus.

    The only way to respond to this kind of nonsense is by aggressively and relentlessly confronting it, until the antis cease to put up a fight. Students who get harassed for exercising free speech need only exercise it further and call media attention to it. They will win in the end.
    Silent Running, by Mike and the Mechanics

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Upper Connecticut River Valley
    Right on, Fox Baron.... you nailed it. This is a means of excisinig certain subjects from general discourse. You don't need laws to make people 'self-police' themselves. I would bet not a single student from that class is now willing to raise the subject of guns or 'gun control', let alone voice their personal opinion or argue a related position as Mr. Wahlberg did. Score another one for the "Andersons"! Someone needs to bring into her classroom a big cardboard stand-up of an ostrich with its head in a sandbox.

    This could also be seen to point out that most colleges DO routinely censor 'free speech' and thought. How many school newspapers have you heard of that were slammed for what an advisor unilaterally deemed inappropriate? It is a long list.... Very few actually attempt to truly prepare their students for the real world, as both "educators" and boards of governors tend to regard this as "beneath" the true mission of their institution ... a mission they themselves define!
    Last edited by llama; 03-05-2009 at 05:12 AM. Reason: dropped a word!

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