Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Students Who Exercise Their Rights

Some people just don't like our Constitution.  Would this physics professor cancel class if he found out that people were going to exercise their 1st Amendment rights?
University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano notified the Boulder campus faculty Tuesday afternoon that professors "do not have the right to shut down a class or refuse to teach" should they learn that one of their students is lawfully carrying a gun under a concealed-carry permit.

And, DiStefano added, any faculty members who do so will be in violation of their contracts and face disciplinary action.

DiStefano's message comes a day after Professor Jerry Peterson, chairman of the Boulder Faculty Assembly, told the Daily Camera that, under his own "personal policy," he plans to cancel class if he ever learns any of his students are carrying firearms. A Colorado Supreme Court ruling this spring overturned CU's Boulder campus gun ban, and university officials say that students with conceal-carry permits are allowed to bring guns into classrooms and labs. ..

"On this issue, there can be no ambiguity: all CU-Boulder faculty, as CU and state employees, are expected to teach their assigned courses and to hold classes for all enrolled students," DiStefano wrote.
I'm impressed that Chancellor DiStefano's comments are as strong as they are. The ball is now in Professor Peterson's court.

11 comments:

mmazenko said...

OK, the First Amendment "connection" is a bit ridiculous. You have to know that.

Darren said...

You can rank order your constitutional rights if you want to, I choose to believe that since they're all God-given that they're all equally important.

mmazenko said...

Sticks and stone - and guns - can break my bones - or shatter them, eviscerate my organs and end my life - but words can never hurt.

No similarity in these issues.

maxutils said...

Constitutional righst were NOT thought to be God given . . . that's why they needed to have the Bill of Rights to protect these. But, since 1-10 were all simultaneous, you'd have to consider it a tie, wouldn't you? Even the one about quartering foreign soldiers?
My curiosidty, though, is how this came up . . . because I guarantee it didn't come up in the context of the Physics curriculum, or as the result of students announcing they were carryinfg legal weapons. Clearly, dude is an attention whore with an agenda, and was looking for reaction. Of course he can't cancel his class due to the entirely legal actions of one of his students . . and, I didn't find the 1st Amendment parallel tenuous at all.

Darren said...

Certain rights *are* granted by the Creator, and to *secure* these rights, governments are instituted among men....seems I recall reading that before.

maxutils said...

according to them, of course, but that's right . . . the inalienable rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The rest is on us. and, well done.

MikeAT said...

Max

You may want to read this document called the Declaration of Independence:

...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...

I draw your attention to the predicate, the words "among these are", just before the "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..." you mentioned. The text, in simple English, says we have more rights than life, etc.

Or are you just saying that's not what the document says? Kinda like the living and breathing Constitution?

Anonymous said...

If you didn't have the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you wouldn't have a 1st Amendment. Or any other of the Amendments, or even the Constitution, for that matter.

Rusty

maxutils said...

MikeAT . . .perhaps you commented before my second post, but I paraphrased exactly the same lines you quoted. And, they used Creator not God . . . so those of us who are not religious can still believe in those rights. The Bill of Rights is only our interpretation of how some of these rights should be protected. I don't, but I'm pretty sure there are a good number of people in Colorado right now who believe allowing the right to bear arms detracts from ones's inalieable right to life . . .

MikeAT said...

Yes, a good hunk of the Founding Fathers were Deists so the term Creator was used. However, you are saying only “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are inalienable. You are dead wrong. A right is inalienable by its definition. It is part of me as a man. I was born with it, I live with it and I will die with it.

I have a right to think what I want, to worship (or not worship) what I want, to defend myself against physical attack, to peacefully organize and petition my government for redress of grievances, among other things. And I cannot be denied that without due process of law. Why is it in your mind only “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” inalienable. Isn’t free speech? Or the press?

As far as Colorado is concerned if anyone has a brain they don’t tie the right to bear arms to the murder of these people. Hate to tell you but I don’t need a gun to kill you. I just need desire first, then means and opportunity. I can cut your throat, poison you, run you over with a car, beat you with a bat, rock or other blunt instrument. Hey Chicago and New York basically ban guns. New York just had a shooting and 16 were shot in one night last week. Gun control really works.

maxutils said...

MikeAT, we're pretty much just arguing semantics . . . I don't think we disagree on any of the rights granted by the Constitution. Unless you've got a pipeline to the Creator, if there is one, you don't know that any of those rights are inalienable -- I merely asserted that those three are the ones the founding fathers chose to GUESS the Creator wanted to give us. Every other one was granted by the men who wrote the Constitution. And, given that it's been amended since, they clearly didn't get it totally right. The three listed in the DOI are the most basic categories; the Constitution seeks to secure them. But, what is given by man can be taken away by man. The North Koreans certainly aren't getting a whole lot of inalienable rights tossed their way . . .
And, curiously, where did you get that I was arguing in favor of gun control? I merely pointed out that others might have a differing opinion of how best to secure the inalienable right of life . . .