After witnessing members of the Eastern Carolina University band kneel during their football game last Saturday to protest racism and police brutality, one professor chose to take a stand for her own constitutional rights.
On Monday, ECU professor Tracy Tuten told WITN she would begin carrying a firearm on campus because she believed if students can exercise their First Amendment rights during football games, she should be able to exercise her Second Amendment rights. However, on Wednesday, ECU police said they had spoken with the professor and informed her that it is against state law to carry a gun on campus property.
Tuten said she was stalked and threatened by a student several years ago and would prefer to have her gun on campus for protection.
“I am so scared every day that I walk onto that campus and do not have my gun with me,” she said. “If you have not been stalked before, you do not understand what it feels like, but it is really intimidating. It is so scary.”
Although Tuten has filed a restraining order against one of the students who threatened her, she said that the university police haven’t taken the threats against her seriously.
“NC General Statute is very clear on when and where you are able to carry firearms on educational property to include universities or college campuses,” said Lt. Chris Sutton of the ECU Police Department in a statement. “We take all criminal activity and laws that are not upheld seriously and we will investigate and handle them in the most appropriate way possible.”
The school reprimanded the marching band for its protest, but it is unclear whether or not it will do the same toward Tuten.