Friday, May 06, 2016

Va. high schools take playoff games from Liberty Univ., citing president's anti-Muslim remarks

Jerry Falwell Jr.
Virginia high-school sports championships will no longer be held at Liberty University in Lynchburg, in response to anti-Muslim remarks made by President Jerry Falwell Jr., Robert Anderson reports for The Roanoke Times. The Virginia High School League voted this month to move state championships in football, baseball, softball, soccer and tennis for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. Some state championships, such as Class 3A and 4A football, have been played at Liberty for 18 years.

"The move comes in the wake of a boycott of the April 22-23 VHSL Debate Tournament at Liberty by students from at least five Northern Virginia high schools in protest of comments" Falwell made in December following the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., which left 14 dead and 21 wounded, Anderson reports. The day after the shootings the Lynchburg News & Advance reported Falwell saying, "I always thought if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them."

Falwell, who said his statement was misinterpreted, wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post that schools boycotted the debate tournament not because of his statements, but because of Liberty's concealed-carry policy. He wrote: "The policy, in place since 2011, states that individuals over 21 who have qualified for concealed-carry permits and granted such permits by the state of Virginia (as well as received permission through the Liberty University Police Department) are allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. ... Some colleges and universities in Virginia have chosen to ban concealed carry, and we believe that those universities have created more dangerous environments for their students, faculty, and staff."

One week after the shootings in December, Falwell announced that Liberty was ending its ban on guns in residence halls, Nick Anderson reports for the Post. Falwell was carrying a gun with him at the time he made the announcement.

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