SALT LAKE CITY — A graduate assistant was reassigned from teaching a class at the University of Utah after she said that bringing a concealed carry gun to class "is absurd, antisocial, and frightening behavior," and that any of her students — even if permitted — who do so would be forced to stand in a "3x3 taped square."
State law allows people to tote guns on public university campuses without restrictions if they have concealed-weapons permits.
University spokesman Chris Nelson said the graduate assistant, who has not been identified, has apologized, received additional training and will now "instead have other assignments." The spokesman said the "weapons policy" that appeared on a class syllabus, was removed from the online curriculum Tuesday and students were "alerted to the error," The Salt Lake Tribune reported .
The graduate assistant's "Second Amendment zone," had it been implemented, would have violated state law.
"Concealed carry is protected under your Second Amendment rights," the teaching assistant acknowledges in the syllabus. "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."
Individual departments at the University of Utah review course syllabi and "are expected to comply with all university policies," Nelson said.
State Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, received a copy of the syllabus Monday from two students in the class and posted it to her Facebook page.
"I am livid," she wrote. "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."
Lisonbee successfully sponsored legislation last year to allow Utah residents as young as 18 to get concealed-carry permits. She sponsored the legislation to equip young women, particularly on college campuses, who might have to defend themselves against potential rapists or attackers.