ECU professor plans to carry firearm on campus after school’s reaction to band protest

Tuten (left) in an image from the ECU website along with a WNCT photo of a band member kneeling on Saturday.
Tuten (left) in an image from the ECU website along with a WNCT photo of a band member kneeling on Saturday.

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – East Carolina University Professor Tracy Tuten said that in response to the university’s reaction to band members kneeling during the national anthem, she now plans to open carry a firearm on campus.

Tuten reached out to WNCT Tuesday after sending an email to Chancellor Cecil Staton on her intentions.

UPDATE: ECU Police: Professor says she won’t carry a firearm on campus after allt

In the letter, entitled “From the heart of Pirate Nation,” Tuten said that she was stalked last year and did not carry a firearm then because she said she “respected the university guidelines for bearing arms.”

On Facebook, Tuten said Sunday that the band members who knelt during the national anthem on Saturday “clearly broke the guidelines set forth in the ECU Marching Pirates Handbook and they should be dismissed from the organization.”

Previous story: Fayetteville radio station won’t air ECU football over National Anthem protest

The university, however, has not reprimanded the band members and Tuten says in her letter that Chancellor Staton knew “about the band members’ plan but that you endorsed and supported it.”

Now, Tuten says that since the band members were allowed to “act on first amendment without regard to university rules, I too want to act on my second amendment rights to bear arms.”

Click here to read the full letter from Tuten (pdf document)

“I’ve been so frightened being on campus since the stalking. Now I do not need to be — because I am executing my 2nd amendment rights,” she wrote.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Tuten had not heard back from Staton.

She said she plans to begin open carrying her weapon on campus Wednesday.

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