- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A police sergeant who attends Loyola University New Orleans says he feels discriminated against after his professor reported to campus police that he was wearing his full uniform, including his service weapon, during class.

Loyola representatives said the incident was “one big misunderstanding” and has been resolved, a local CBS News affiliate reported.

Sgt. Josh Collins, of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, wrote a now-viral Facebook post Wednesday saying he had been too busy to change and showed up to class fully uniformed. He said he was then “ostracized” by his professor after a student complained about his firearm.

“Shortly after my arrival, a fellow classmate complained to the professor of their uncomfortableness of having an armed police officer in the class,” he wrote. “Mind you, I have sat in the same class for the last six weeks in civilian clothing. My professor then called the police. Of course I was not privileged to either of these conversations as they took place behind my back. My professor then pulled me out of class and told me that he had called the police based on the student complaint The police obviously never came and told him over the phone that I was perfectly within the law.”

University representatives said Sgt. Collins was wearing standard SWAT fatigues and the student who complained did not understand that he was a police officer.

“A student in the class saw another student with a firearm, and during a class break said something to the teacher,” the university said in a statement, CBS reported. “The teacher contacted campus security to determine university policy. Campus security directed the teacher to confirm that the student with the firearm works in law enforcement. The teacher confirmed that the student worked in law enforcement and the class resumed at the end of the break.

Loyola University New Orleans unequivocally supports police officers and the courageous women and men of our nation’s armed forces,” the statement said. “These men and women protect us all, and they protect our Constitutional rights. We are without question grateful for their service.”

Laura Kurzu, Loyola’s vice president of marketing and communications, said the situation was handled privately during a 15-minute break in class. She said the school has since reached out to apologize to Mr. Collins personally.

Sgt. Collins said it’s just another instance of prejudice he’s faced for being a “white male conservative” on campus.

Loyola University, a Jesuit Institution, prides itself on its commitment to social justice,” he wrote Wednesday. “However, in creating an environment where everyone is accepted for who they are, you have now created an environment where I have been ostracized. As a police officer, I feel as though I must hide my profession in order to obtain a fair education.”

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