Some Texas professors say guns in classes could chill debate

HOUSTON -- Some faculty members at the University of Houston say sensitive subjects may become taboo in their classrooms because of a law allowing Texas public university students to bring guns to class.

See Full Article

Jonathan Snow, president of the faculty senate at the university, told University of Houston regents that staff concerns about the law are growing, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday.

"Academics know the intrusion of gun culture into campus inevitably harms academic culture," Snow told the Board of Regents.

A faculty senate slideshow shown at a recent meeting featured a message that said instructors "may want to be careful discussing sensitive topics" or may choose to drop "certain topics" from their curriculum.

Under the law, which takes effect Aug. 1, licensed gun owners may carry concealed handguns on public university campuses. University officials have some discretion to designate gun-free zones, but a recent opinion from the Texas attorney general's office said no limits may be placed on students carrying guns in classrooms or dormitories.

Nevertheless, the president of the University of Texas at Austin recommended to UT System regents that guns be banned from dormitories. Private universities may still ban guns from their campuses, and none in Texas has chosen to allow armed students in classrooms.

The University of Houston Faculty Senate adopted a resolution last year that opposed the law, stating, "The diverse academic communities and free academic discourse are especially threatened by the presence of deadly weapons in teaching, research and living spaces."

Jacob Smith, who supports the law and teaches at the university while working toward a doctorate in economics, said that other states already allow guns on campus and have not seen any gun-related confrontations between students and faculty.

"It's an absolutely unfounded fear," he told the Chronicle.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli won't stop talking, except to jury in trial

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli says on social media that he's being railroaded at his securities fraud trial, but he won't be defending himself in court. Jurors heard testimony from the government's last witness on Tuesday, a day after a lawyer for the former biotech CEO told the court that his client had chosen not to take the witness stand. Source
  • Ohio set to end 3-year hiatus with execution of child killer

    World News CTV News
    LUCASVILLE, Ohio -- Ohio is preparing to put a condemned child killer to death in the state's first execution in more than three years. Forty-three-year-old Ronald Phillips is scheduled to die Wednesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. Source
  • Rights groups ask Duterte to retract threat to bomb schools

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines -- Human rights groups asked the Philippine president Wednesday to retract a threat to order airstrikes against tribal schools he accused of teaching students to become communist rebels, warning such an attack would constitute a war crime. Source
  • Wild New Zealand rabbits surf on sheep to escape floodwaters

    World News CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Three wild rabbits managed to escape rising floodwaters in New Zealand by clambering aboard a flock of sheep and surfing to safety on their woolly backs. Sixty-four-year-old Ferg Horne says he's been farming since he left school at age 15 and has never seen anything quite like it. Source
  • Orca whale repeatedly rams fishing boat, Alaska man says

    World News Toronto Sun
    SITKA, Alaska — An Alaska man said his boat was attacked over the weekend by an orca during a salmon fishing excursion with his 14-year-old son and two other people. Victor Littlefield of Sitka said the killer whale repeatedly rammed the boat, yanked its anchor line and slapped the boat’s bow with its tail. Source
  • Man accused of smuggling king cobras in potato chip cans

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A man was arrested on federal smuggling charges Tuesday after customs officers intercepted a shipment with three live king cobras hidden inside potato chip canisters that were being mailed to his California home, U.S. Source
  • Europe rights court: Sex still important for older women

    World News CTV News
    LISBON, Portugal -- Judges in Portugal were guilty of sexual discrimination in a medical compensation case when they decided that the importance of sex diminished with the age of a woman, Europe's human rights court ruled in a judgment published Tuesday. Source
  • Toronto courier company offers work, support to those with developmental disabilities

    Canada News CTV News
    For many people with developmental disabilities, finding a full-time job that provides the necessary support is a major challenge. It’s estimated that more than 70 per cent of Canadian adults with developmental disabilities are unemployed, according to Statistics Canada. Source
  • Australia's highest-ranking Catholic in court to face sex charges

    World News CBC News
    The most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis made his first court appearance in Australia on Wednesday in a scandal that has stunned the Holy See and threatened to tarnish the pope's image as a crusader against abusive clergy. Source
  • First Nations treaties, revenue sharing top priorities with B.C. NDP government

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- British Columbia's new premier has placed First Nations issues near the top of his government's to-do list, committing his cabinet to transforming stalled treaty talks and negotiating revenue-sharing agreements. The priority shift prompted a "hallelujah" Tuesday from one Indigenous leader. Source