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Bouchard Vows To ‘Look Into’ UW Classes Following Incident

State of Wyoming
State of Wyoming

A state senator from Cheyenne is vowing to take a closer look at classes offered at the University of Wyoming following a recent encounter with a couple of students and an instructor over an academic project on guns.

Republican Sen. Anthony Bouchard attended a college composition and rhetoric class presentation on potential dangers posed to young African-American men by holders of concealed carry gun permits. The presentation was part of the 2017 Shepard Symposium on Social Justice at UW.

Bouchard says he saw an internet post about the event and decided to check it out, adding he considered the event to be “race-baiting” based on the post.

Bouchard says he was displeased by the presentation, which he said cited incidents that had nothing to do with holders of a permit to carry concealed firearms. He said one such incident referred to a shooting of a black man by a police officer. He says the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida a few years ago was also cited.

Bouchard says that when he disagreed with the views being presented, the ”young men putting on the presentation were very polite. I was impressed by them.”

But he says when he asked the female course instructor her name and the name of the course, she responded, “I don’t think I should answer that.”

Bouchard says the instructor knew he was a state senator and he told her “I vote on funding for this school and I think I should know what I should vote against.” The lawmaker now admits “you could take it” as a threat to cut funding.

The University of Wyoming is funded through block grants from the state, so lawmakers actually don’t vote on funding for individual classes or programs.

He says his thinking was “Why are we spending money for a teacher to teach this kind of stuff?”

Bouchard says in many ways he takes the whole incident as a sign of the times. “It just seems like since Obama started the race baiting, it just never ends,” he said.

UW officials say they are looking into the incident.

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