Will campus carry cause parents, faculty to spurn Georgia colleges?

Will the passage of a state law allowing conceal carry on Georgia’s public campuses cause parents to reconsider sending their kids? VINO WONG / VWONG@AJC.COM

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Will the passage of a state law allowing conceal carry on Georgia’s public campuses cause parents to reconsider sending their kids? VINO WONG / VWONG@AJC.COM

Critics of campus carry worry that parents will reconsider allowing their children to attend school in Georgia, which is now one of 10 states legalizing conceal carry on its public campuses.

Signed last week by Gov. Nathan Deal, Georgia’s law goes into effect July 1, forcing colleges to scramble to figure out how to balance parent safety concerns with the legal right of students to be armed.

Writing in the AJC Get Schooled blog, one mother says, "Students who don't feel comfortable sitting in a classroom with a loaded gun will look elsewhere. Professors and other instructors who present provocative ideas or who have extremely rigorous grading standards may feel safer in classrooms where students are not armed. While many families, students and instructors who favor campus carry will continue to choose Georgia's public schools, those who oppose it will choose private schools that don't allow firearms or look outside the state."

There is also a fear top faculty will leave the state rather than teach in classrooms where their students may be armed. This is already happening in Kansas where conceal carry also becomes law in July. A top scholar at the University of Kansas published his resignation letter, citing that state's new conceal carry policy.

KU tenured professor Jacob Dorman wrote, “Let us not let the NRA destroy the future of the state of Kansas with a specious argument about the Second Amendment. Guns do not belong in classrooms any more than they belong in courtrooms, but a university simply cannot afford metal detectors at every entrance. Kansas faces a very clear choice: Does it want excellent universities, with world class faculty, or does it want to create an exodus of faculty like myself who have options to teach in states that ban weapons in classrooms?”

To read more about these controversial issues, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.