Professor Called Police After Student Presentation

For CCSU student John Wahlberg, a class presentation on campus violence turned into a confrontation with the campus police due to a complaint by the professor.

On October 3, 2008, Wahlberg and two other classmates prepared to give an oral presentation for a Communication 140 class that was required to discuss a “relevant issue in the media”. Wahlberg and his group chose to discuss school violence due to recent events such as the Virginia Tech shootings that occurred in 2007.

Shortly after his professor, Paula Anderson, filed a complaint with the CCSU Police against her student. During the presentation Wahlberg made the point that if students were permitted to conceal carry guns on campus, the violence could have been stopped earlier in many of these cases. He also touched on the controversial idea of free gun zones on college campuses.

That night at work, Wahlberg received a message stating that the campus police “requested his presence”. Upon entering the police station, the officers began to list off firearms that were registered under his name, and questioned him about where he kept them.

They told Wahlberg that they had received a complaint from his professor that his presentation was making students feel “scared and uncomfortable”.

“I was a bit nervous when I walked into the police station,” Wahlberg said, “but I felt a general sense of disbelief once the officer actually began to list the firearms registered in my name. I was never worried however, because as a law-abiding gun owner, I have a thorough understanding of state gun laws as well as unwavering safety practices.”

Professor Anderson refused to comment directly on the situation and deferred further comment.

“It is also my responsibility as a teacher to protect the well being of our students, and the campus community at all times,” she wrote in a statement submitted to 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.”

Wahlberg believes that her complaint was filed without good reason.

“I don’t think that Professor Anderson was justified in calling the CCSU police over a clearly nonthreatening matter. Although the topic of discussion may have made a few individuals uncomfortable, there was no need to label me as a threat,” Wahlberg said in response. “The actions of Professor Anderson made me so uncomfortable, that I didn’t attend several classes. The only appropriate action taken by the Professor was to excuse my absences.”

The university police were unavailable for comment.

“If you can’t talk about the Second Amendment, what happened to the First Amendment?” asked Sara Adler, president of the Riflery and Marksmanship club on campus. “After all, a university campus is a place for the free and open exchange of ideas.”

 

-Shauna Simeone, Asst. Opinion Editor

NOTE: With the exception of commenters who can provide a valid CCSU email address, we are no longer accepting comments on this story. 

231 thoughts on “Professor Called Police After Student Presentation”

  1. What scared me was that the police had a list of "registered firearms" on the guy. That frightens me! I would like to hear Mr Wahlberg's answers to the police. He should have said "it's none of your business, am I being detained or am I free to go?"

  2. Paula Anderson should be fired. To interfere with our students free thinking process is a crime in itself. These are the same tactics Stalin and Hitler used to brainwash the youth. How dare an educator call the police on a student expressing his right of free speech and the right to bear arms. This is sick and another example of how the powers that be are leading us into complete socialism.

  3. If the Virginia Tech killer knew that state law allowed concealed weapons, would he have padlocked himself inside that campus building?

    His plan had as its premise, nobody will be able to fight back. He locked himself inside to keep anyone outside from stopping him.

    The logic of this "professor" is, abolish guns and no one will be afraid. That is not logic. That is fantasy.

  4. Every time I run across an incontinent invertebrate, low intelligence ‘professor’ like Paula Anderson, I am appalled and afraid for the Profession. Which ever University granted her college degrees should revoke them. She has demonstrated her own incompetence and negligence for her craft and students. In addition she has shown an amazing lack of judgment and a propensity for political socialist ideology totalitarianism.
    With this abuse of official responsibility, I would not recommend Forest Gump to apply to CCSU.
    I do hope that the student does seek legal counsel for this assault against his First and Second Amendment individual rights.
    Sieg Heil!! Oberststurmfuhrer Paula Anderson!!

    Professor Sam Waite

  5. As a former police officer I agree with the comments of SanAntonioSpectator. I also believe that the schools should be held civilly liable for the ostracization and mistreatment of students and professors whose rights are violated by the professors and/or schools themselves simply for their political beliefs.
    In the officer’s place, I probably (in the interest of professionalism) would have spoken to the kid to see if I felt there was some threat or rampantly insane look about the kid.. You know, the Renfield sort of thing. But other than that, I would have told the professor she was being “overly cautious”(one must be polite to the idiots when one is a cop). This is, as I have heard so much, a conspiracy of the liberal side to corrupt the minds of our children from a very young age. It is sad and conservatives need to take back the schools and begin to teach what is important. I am the father of a 16-year old son and I had to explain to him and his friends what the Cold War was… they had no idea, though they have all had at least two high school history classes.

  6. Roger R – I hope you are not serious and do not actually believe that your daughter is unsafe because some students on campus have gone through LEGAL training to have a CCW permit. I think the statistical fact is that she is much more likely to be raped and murdered by some criminal idiot with a knife. Where did your brain go when you came to your illogical conclusion?

  7. What always gets left out of this discussion is the main reason to allow citizens guns: So the government does not completely control them and they have a fighting chance if they want to revolt.
    The way things are going and the control the left is trying to sieze under Obama’s socialist plan, that is more relevant than at any time in the last 100 years.

  8. “The ideas being espoused by Mr. Wahlberg are not the types of ideas we should tolerate in our society, particularly on a college campus.”

    Ah, I see. Intolerance is OK with you, as long as the subject matter isn’t on the liberal agenda. Furthermore, we should move from not tolerating behaviors to not tolerating ideas.

    How progressive.

  9. The scary thing is I don’t think Roger is kidding…I actually feel a little bit bad for him that he is that closed minded.

    When I went to college in CT in the 1990’s, my father was suprised that I wasn’t taking any firearms that I ownded with me. Dad was both a police officer and public school teacher. I told him that it was probably frowned upon. Times change. When he was in school in the 60’s, lots of students kept guns in their dorm rooms for recreational shooting and hunting.

    I can say that during my years at Uconn undergrad and law school, professors leanded to the left for sure, but I never felt ostrocized for my beliefs. I wrote papers and letter to the editor, and occassionally recieved the comment that while my professor disagreed with nearly everything I wrote, it was still deserving of an “A”. Its unfortunate to think that now, my “A” papers would probably land me in an small windowless room being interrogated by the campus gestapo.

  10. Yet another shining example that certain (progressive) ideas are permitted by the gentrified elite with their supposed ideas of fairness, openness, and and tolerance to be shared with the masses….and others such as firearms rights must be quashed like a discarded and tossed overripe tomato.

    Good job Professor in promoting the equal exchange of ideas.

    *sarcasm mode off*

  11. ROGERR: I have to believe that your comments are tongue-in-cheek, as no educated man could seriously condemn the open exchange of ideas, even those you detest, on a college campus. And, as I understand it, Mr. Wahlberg had jumped through all the required legal hoops for owning a firearm in Connecticut. He was doing nothing illegal, but he espoused an “idea” that frightens you and those like you.

    Your fear is a product of your ignorance. Do you routinely fear and attack that which you do not understand? Wasn’t this the root cause of the Salem Witch Trials? Isn’t this ignorant generalization the basis for racism and bigotry? You consider yourself an evolved and educated man, yet you vigorously fear the idea of firearms.

    Do you believe that firearms have no place in civilian society, or do you believe that a 20-something college student can’t be trusted with a gun? If it’s the former, then there is no hope for you and I’m wasting my breath. If it’s the latter, the I direct you to our fine soldiers fighting and dying to ensure your continued freedom to utter such nonsense. We send our kids to war at the tender age of 18, hand them a gun and teach them to use it. These are the same kids that many liberals denigrate as being below average and unable to obtain a job in the private sector.

    Wait? Below average? That must mean your 20-something college student is average or above average, yet we’re going to categorically consider them too irresponsible to own and carry a firearm — even though they’ve met all of your state’s very restrictive qualifications? Even though they’ve done nothing wrong? Simply because they advocate gun ownership and legalized concealed carry on the college campus?

    Oh… there it is again. Bad ideas. Bad thought. Diversity and tolerance, as long as YOU agree with it.

    I’m curious as to your reaction to the student who advocated legalizing drugs. Did the student’s paper expressing his agreement with the philosophies of NAMBLA illicit a response from you? Would a paper on the necessity of beating a Muslim woman who allowed herself to be raped pique your ire? How about a paper extolling the benefits of euthanizing people who’ve outlived their usefulness. Would you demand the author’s expulsion?

    I’m just wondering where you draw the line, my friend.

  12. Next time he’ll do a talk about what happens when you do a REQUIRED presentation on a current issue that the prof disagrees with what will happen.

    They will report you to the gestapo….

    Now for my talk, how to make Jello……….

    Reason 9,889 why I will not donate to my college—Hillsdale he it comes!

    Radar in Va

  13. DEG wrote:
    As far as gunowners being disrespectful of authority it is interesting to note that someone wishing to purchase a handgun in CT – must attend a 10 hour class, go to a local police station, fill in an application, be fingerprinted, have a compete background check done, provide letters of reference, then go to the police to pick up the temporary permit , then drive to the public safety building or other state police facility to be photographed…

    It is just like that in Ohio, except for some parts. In order to buy a handgun in Ohio you have to:
    1. Find a gun to buy.
    2. Pay your money.
    3. Take it home and shoot it in your backyard.

    Yup, just like CT only better.

  14. “John

    February 28, 2009 • 6:08 pm
    Some commenters have suggested that Mr. Wahlberg is a dangerous criminal who should be imprisoned because of his beliefs. It is terrifying to me that there are people who could make such a statement and still believe that they support the First Amendment. Someone who could suggest such a thing is the kind of person who would be capable of putting their fellow citizens in concentration camps and then sleep well, thinking that they had done a service to society. ”

    You hit the nail on the head John….

    WE are the people who would lay down our lives to save a stranger’s child…..

    They are they type that would let that child die through inaction and unpreparedness….

    And yes….there are militant liberals that would gladly rifle butt conservative “spawn” into train cars and sleep well at night as a duty to their fellow man…

    The kind profressor wouldnt actually riflebutt anyone into a train car personally…but clearly…she would gladly make to call to have them come for you…

    The last political party in Germany that opposed the growing “workers party” later known as “National socialist movement” wasnt a left/liberal party….The last ooposition was the center right “peoples party”….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSDAP

    The Nazis’ strongest appeal was to the lower middle-class – farmers, public servants, teachers, small businessmen – who had suffered most from the inflation of the 1920s and who feared Bolshevism more than anything else. The small business class were receptive to Hitler’s anti-Semitism, since they blamed Jewish big business for their economic problems. University students, disappointed at being too young to have served in World War I and attracted by the Nazis’ radical rhetoric, also became a strong Nazi constituency.

    The last people to stand againt the nazi’s in german politics were the CENTER RIGHT DNVP and KVP…not the LEFT….the “workers party” aka “national socialists” aka nazi’s had allready co-opted the left years before.

    The modern equivilant would be the “truther” “9/11 was an inside job” movement..these wide eyed freaks suffer from Bush/Neo-con derangment syndrome….

    They hate bush and wish him dead as they view him as a war criminal….

    Thus by extension….they view conservatives as supporters of war criminals…and worthy of “social justice”…

    These are the McVeigh’s of our time…the black hoody anarchists smashing store windows…

    The modern brownshirt….tool of the modern national socialists….

    Tyranny cannot be commited until the unwilling are disarmed……

    And only one political party in the US seeks to disarm the unwilling….the same group that views “Social Welfare as the business of the State.”

    History repeats…..

  15. Either Profosser Anderson misrepresented the content of the presentation or the campus police over-reacted. In either case, the university is culpable for their actions. I’m no lawyer but I would be quite interested how campus police came up with a list of Mr. Wahlberg’s firearms. I can see issues like invasion of privacy, accessing state records by misrepresentation, etc. This could be quite profitable for Mr. Wahlberg and an attorney who wished to repsresent him.

  16. As the father of a CCSU student, I am extremely concerned about the actions of Mr. Wahlberg. Not only is Mr. Wahlberg advocating guns on campus, but he is the owner of several firearms himself. Clearly Mr. Wahlberg poses a potential threat to the CCSU community. I applaud the professor for filing her complaing, and I would urge the univesity to expel him from campus. Had this professor not filed a complaint, we never would have known we had a gun-owning student on campus. The ideas being espoused by Mr. Wahlberg are not the types of ideas we should tolerate in our society, particularly on a college campus. In light of the rash of school shottings in recent years, I support the adoption of legislation that anyone owning a firearm should not be permitted on a college campus.

    I will be contacting the university today voicing my concern and urging them to expel Mr. Wahlberg, and notifying them that my daughter’s continued attendance at the university will be influenced by the type of disciplinary action they take.

  17. I caught this story on Jonathan Turley’s blog. After reviewing the thread here, I am disillusioned both by the actions of the professor and the posted responses. I graduated from college in 1969 and from law school in 1972. By the time I finished school, I was hopeful that the free speech wars were almost over. Forty years later, I realize I was wrong. Whatever else may be said about the ’60s (usually by those who weren’t around then), there were a couple of things that liberals fought hard to establish. One was that governments routinely lie to the governed, and need to be viewed with suspicion. The second was that words are not to be censored and speech must not be suppressed. There is no topic about which I can be forbidden to speak. There is no religion entitled to immunity from my views. There are no cultural values which I am not free to criticize. There are no groups or races or genders whom I may not offend. There is no policy or rule or law which I may not mock or ridicule. Freedom of speech is not subject to a sovereign-it owes no loyalty to king or parliament. The only worthy opponent of an idea, no matter how distasteful or even hateful it may be, is another idea. I have watched in disgust as one campus after the next has introduced speech restrictions to “protect” groups perceived to be at risk or to eliminate views deemed to be intolerant or otherwise offensive to particular sensibilities. For Pete’s sake, wake up, folks. If universities do not serve as stalwart bastions of free speech, who will. Politicians? Your church? The local city council?
    The topic of guns on campus is certainly worthy of debate, and it ought to be loud and robust. I personally think people who wish to arm college students are morons, but hey, that’s just me. Professor Anderson’s actions were puerile, but were probably borne of fear. Most of the comments on this thread haven’t even addressed the underlying issue. They have consisted mainly of an exchange of equally puerile insults and name-calling. I think both sides of this dispute could do a whole lot better.

  18. This country is going downhill, fast. If you disagree with the left they crucify you. If you have a conservative radio show they make a “fairness doctrine” to shut you up. If you practice your second amendment rights they make bans and restrictions. Is there any place in the world that isn’t controlled by left wing loonies anymore?

  19. “After all, a university campus is a place for the free and open exchange of ideas.”
    As long as they are not conservative ideas, then yes.

  20. Should have asked the professor if she felt that having minorities in schools made her feel uncomfortable. She would have felt right at home in the Alabama school district in 1963. Guess she’d wanted those kids to give up THEIR civil rights so that the white kids could feel comfy.

  21. Unbelievable.

    Curtailing free speech at a university is inexcusable – no matter the subject matter. What’s more, fearmongering is something that we expect our government to do, but it should be absent at an institution for higher learning. Critical thinking is the most important skill set that our citizenry must learn, and this incident illustrates that critical thinking skills were sorely lacking in this particular environment.

    Shame on Professor Anderson for reacting so poorly to a subject that I must believe is a sore-spot with her. I see no other logical reason for reporting a student to campus police for an incident like this.

    Shame on the other posters who are calling for this man to be put behind bars for expressing a point of view that differs from yours. I’m sorry for you that you’re offended by being confronted with opinions that you don’t share. The world must truly be less colorful for you.

    To really love liberty, you must accept that it not always has the sort of beauty you are used to. The real beauty lies in what you can do with it – not how it appears.

  22. Obviously as long as idiots like Paula Anderson, teach at CCSU no free American can get a education at CCSU. What a waste of money CCSU is. Neither of my children will go to colleges that do not respect their civil rights.

    Paula Anderson needs to be fired, banned from CCSU and teaching in a free country.

  23. Mike Stollenwerk: This incident is most disturbing because in Connecticut, like most states, it is not a crime to carry guns on college campuses. See map at http://www.opencarry.org/college.html.
    The police have no business investigating legal conduct or suggestions of legal conduct.

    You must have missed the part on that webpage where it says “NOTE: Even if Legal, Students May be Subject to Academic Sanctions”. According to the provisions under 10A-55c the CSU universities are granted the legal right to make policy. Their policy is no guns on campus. It’s a violaion of the student code of conduct.

    As far as the police “having business investigating”, the police officers who work at the CSU Universities also enforce and document violations of the student code of conduct. It’s called an “additional duty” and is part of their job description. So they have business doing.

    But, feel free to carry a gun on campus. If you’re a student, you’ll likely be expelled. If you’re a visitor, you’ll be removed from campus.

    It’s a stupid policy, but it’s the one in effect. When there are finally enough people fed up with the policy, maybe we can get it changed. But being that CT is one of the “make any law that makes people feel good” states, I doubt you’ll see it.

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