Professor Makes Students ‚ÄúStomp on Jesus‚ÄĚ *****Update*****School has apologized - page 10
A Florida Atlantic University student said he was suspended from class after he refused a professor‚Äôs directive to stomp on a piece of paper with the word ‚ÄúJesus‚ÄĚ written on it.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated,‚ÄĚ student Ryan Rotela told television station WPEC. ‚ÄúI truly see this as I‚Äôm being punished.‚ÄĚ
Rotela, who is a devout Mormon, said the instructor in his Intercultural Communications class told the students to write the name ‚ÄúJesus‚ÄĚ on a sheet of paper. Then, they were told to put the paper on the floor.
‚ÄúHe had us all stand up and he said ‚ÄėStomp on it,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Rotela said. ‚ÄúI picked up the paper from the floor and put it right back on the table.
The young college student told the instructor, Deandre Poole, that the assignment was insulting and offensive.
‚ÄúI said to the professor, ‚ÄėWith all due respect to your authority as a professor, I do not believe what you told us to do was appropriate,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Rotela said. ‚ÄėI believe it was unprofessional and I was deeply offended by what you told me to do.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Rotela took his concerns to Poole‚Äôs supervisor ‚Äď where he was promptly suspended from the class.
Poole did not return calls seeking comment. According to his university profile, he has a PhD from Howard University and is authoring a book titled, ‚ÄúObamamania: The Rise of a Mythical Hero.‚ÄĚ
A university spokesperson told they could not comment about Rotela‚Äôs case due to student privacy laws.
However, the university is defending the instructor‚Äôs assignment to stomp on the name of Jesus.
‚ÄúAs with any academic lesson, the exercise was meant to encourage students to view issues from many perspectives, in direct relation with the course objectives,‚ÄĚ said Noemi Marin, the university‚Äôs director of the school of communication and multimedia studies.
‚ÄúWhile at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate,‚ÄĚ Marin added.
The lesson on bashing the name of Christ is included in a textbook titled, ‚ÄúIntercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition.‚ÄĚ
Fox News obtained a synopsis of the lesson that got Rotela in trouble.
‚ÄúHave the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper,‚ÄĚ the lesson reads. ‚ÄúAsk the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can‚Äôt step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture.‚ÄĚ
Paul Kengor, the executive director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College, told Fox News he‚Äôs not surprised by the classroom lesson.
‚ÄúThese are the new secular disciples of ‚Äėdiversity‚Äô and ‚Äėtolerance‚Äô ‚Äď empty buzzwords that make liberals and progressives feel good while they often refuse to tolerate and sometimes even assault traditional Christian and conservative beliefs,‚ÄĚ Kengor said.
Kengor said classes like the one at Florida Atlantic University demonstrate the contempt many public institutions hold for people of faith.
‚ÄúIt also reflects the rising confidence and aggression of the new secularists and atheists, especially at our sick and surreal modern universities,‚ÄĚ he said.
The university did not explain why students were only instructed to write the name of Jesus ‚Äď and not the name of Mohammed or another religious figure.
‚ÄúGee, I wonder if the instructor would dare do this with the name of Mohammed,‚ÄĚ Kengor wondered.
Rotela said the idea of stomping on the name of Jesus was beyond his comprehension.
‚ÄúAny time you stomp on something it shows you believe that it has no value,‚ÄĚ he told the television station. ‚ÄúIf you were to stomp on the word Jesus ‚Äď it says the word has no value.‚ÄĚ