A wonderful development, from Texas: concealed carry weapons now are permitted in the university classroom, with the predictable ass-covering maneuvers by university administrators, hoping in advance both to pre-empt the student who goes berserk when you “trigger” him by saying the wrong thing, and to cover the university’s ass in case the worst case scenario actually materializes (“we told you someone would go berserk and shoot you if you taught that controversial material”).
Here’s a question: if students can bring weapons into the classroom and into faculty offices for office hours, can citizen-constituents bring weapons into the offices of the legislators who came up with this legislation? For that matter, can we start bringing weapons into the galleries of state assemblies when we watch the deliberations there? (I’m using “deliberations” pretty loosely, I admit.) How about being allowed to bring weapons into court rooms and police departments, while we’re at it?
Props to these faculty members, for refusing to change the way they teach. But you have to wonder about the blatant stupidity of the people who put them in this situation. On the one hand, university faculty are increasingly expected to tip-toe around their students’ increasingly infantile hyper-sensitivity to emotionally difficult topics; on the other hand, the same infantile, labile, and often hyper-medicated students are permitted to weaponize the classroom. If this isn’t a recipe for trouble, I don’t what is.
Luckily, the trend hasn’t migrated northeast from places like Texas, but like the inexorable advance of the killer bees, I worry that it’s just a matter of time. Where once we were expected to develop a thick skin about problematic classroom behaviors, I suppose that we’ll now be expected to teach in body armor. It won’t be long before the bureaucratic bean counters start using the weaponized classroom/chilled classroom environment dynamic as the best argument ever for moving from on-ground to online teaching. At that point, even the most ardent opponent of online education may be inclined to agree with them.
So how does teaching in the Texas system differ from teaching in the supposedly scary West Bank? The difference is that when Islamic Jihad demonstrates on campus, the weapons they brandish are fake. Granted, it’s not a university campus, but when anti-Islamic demonstrators surround a Texas mosque, the weapons they brandish are real.
Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.