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


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Link RemovedA 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.

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This is the kind of idiots teaching our kids. :fie:

Well not my kids because I would not send them to a public school
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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I don't know why the student even responded to the Police by going to the station at their request. He did not break any law that they should investigate or that they should have to make a record of. As far as his gun collection is concerned that is also none of their business. The teacher should be hung out to dry, she had no reason to make any report to any law enforcement agency. If I had an idiot teacher or professor like this when I was in college we would have problems. I did have one professor that was upset about me being armed in class and after speaking with him and telling him that the biggest part of the Community College was made up of Law Enforcement Classes and had a hell of a lot of money being spent at the college for Law Enforcement Education he decided that it was best to back down and get a life. I took 3 year's getting a Associates in Criminal Science Degree and carried to every class. I worked full time and went to classes part time over a period of 6 year's I got 2 degree's a Associates in Criminal Science and a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and carried all 6 year's in college.
this is a teacher who needs to be taught. some one makes a presentation about less casualties if more were armed and she takes that as a safety issue? holy freakin crap fire her!
It bothers me to no end that we are forced to pay school taxes. Knowing full well that these folks left in charge of our children are left wing liberals who can't stand the Bill of Rights. Their mantra - Safety before freedom.
What was the content of the presentation? What did the instructor report to the police? I want a few more facts before t draw and fire:unsure:
Our colleges and universities are full of liberal professors who try to force their ideology on students. Conservative minded students are persecuted everyday in these institutions. In this case I agree with the woman who believes the police were called because the professor did not agree with Wahlbergs stance about CC on campus.

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