Comments about ‘Mormon student at Florida Atlantic University punished for refusing to 'stomp on Jesus'’

Return to article »

Published: Tuesday, March 26 2013 4:55 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

Rotela = Stud

Springville, Ut

Re: procuradorfiscal

So now a taxpayer have a right to be in a public university because a relatively small portion of their personal tax dollars go towards that university?

I don't even know how to respond to this; especially as it's coming from someone who routinely posts conservative opinions.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

The assignment sounds perfectly reasonable, and Rotela was the perfect example for defining the importance of symbols in culture. I think he is blowing this out of proportion to try and look like a victim and get some much needed attention.

Taylorsville, Utah

I'm sure there were many other supposedly christian students in the class. What did they do or their reaction to the exercise. Anyways, great job Rotela. I'm very proud of you.

Beverly Hills, CA

I have been on both sides of the debate, I have been persecuted by people of faith and I see attacks on religion.

If he is indeed suspended, he needs proper legal representation. Get the situation resolved.

For those of you who think religious people don't do their fair share of persecution just because they are Christian, wake up and evaluate how you really treat people.

Beverly Hills, CA

The version of the story I read was different on this Deseret News website. My prior comments were about the story and did not indicate any suspension.

I am all for supporting people sticking up for their beliefs. I am also for people not using their religious beliefs to persecute others. I hope the University will curb acts such as asking people to stomp on things such as the name of Jesus but the full story is not being shown here, lots of details are left out.

Cinci Man

Some of the dumbest people on this planet are teachers and educators. I'm so glad my kids are through with public schools. I might also add that some of the very best people in my kids' lives were teachers and educators and for them I am grateful.

As I read the article, I didn't see the part where the teacher asked the students to debate the subject - only the part where the student was told to stomp on the paper with the name Jesus on the floor. I also read the part that the student, who had paid money to attend the university, was suspended for reporting that the activity was offensive, insensitive and unwelcoming of Christians. He was told when reporting the incident that he didn't have to return to class. It's ok for the school to pocket the student's money and cause him to start over in another class, paying for it a second time. If he had asked the student to stomp on the Koran, the teacher would have been fired for violating the values of the institution.

Now THAT is duplicity at its finest; best experienced in schools.

Provo, UT

Counter Intelligence,

A little more digging is required before you (and the student) jump to unsupported conclusions.

"Contrary to some media reports, no students were forced to take part in the exercise; the instructor told all of the students in the class that they could choose whether or not to participate."

The university denies that the student was suspended because of this episode. In a statement to Fox News, they said: "While we do not comment on personnel matters, and while student privacy laws prevent us from commenting on any specific student at the University, we can confirm that no student has been expelled, suspended or disciplined by the University as a result of any activity that took place during this class."

The author as well as you should do your homework and combine it with some critical thinking.

Shelley, ID

"Faculty and students at academic institutions pursue knowledge and engage in open discourse. While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate."

How was this "exercise" intended to "pursue knowledge" (stomping on revered image on a paper?)and engage in open discourse (when there was no "open discourse" encouraged but the instructors? I can only ascertain that the "knowledge" being pursued was one really of contempt towards that revered person, and the discourse was actually closed - or zero. What was attemping to be taught? Contempt.

Farmington, UT

@ Claudio

I'm certain he paid tuition. If you want to terminate him from the class, fine. Refund his tuition. What if the professor asked a student to hold a knife next to another student's throat---would that be OK just to see whay they would do? Some things are just over the line and this "object lesson on values" was ome of them. The professor isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer (punn intended in above discussion) and the university only apologized after it hit the press---not until. Pretty typical institutional behavior, sadly.

Layton, UT

When you take a college class, you don't always know what may occur in a classroom. How was the student to know that his teacher would do such a thing? The teacher was completely out of line and should suffer consequences for their terrible judgement.

Go Utes, CA

Nothing wrong with a teacher trying to perform the exercise. What is insane is that the student was suspended for not complying. The suspension was an arbitrary abuse of authority.by small minded people.

Red Headed Stranger
Billy Bobs, TX


I don't understand what is hard to understand. If you don't pay taxes, you go to jail. We give up our funds, but we have a right to comment how they are spent. How much or how little a person pays in taxes is irrelevant. That is the perceived contract that we have with the government. As an employee of "the people", the professor especially should act in accordance with the Constitution. The young Mormon paid taxes. The young Mormon paid his tuition. When he complained about the content of the class, he was punished, suspended. I'm sure that if he had returned to the class that he paid for he would have been arrested for trespassing. Some great citadel of learning. They are so afraid of their intellectual position that they punish anyone who dare speak out against them. It isn't a private school.

What silly things colleges put into their curriculum. No wonder developing countries who don't have time for such buffoonery are overtaking us. All because "everyone needs a college education" but won't study engineering, science, or technology. Instead we are stuck with philosophy, communications, conflict resolution and photography majors.

Salt Lake City, UT

I suggest y'all google the Forbes article on the incident:

"FAU College Student Who Didn't Want To Stomp On 'Jesus' Runs Afoul of Speech Code - Forbes"

Salt Lake City, UT

How would this story have gone if the professor asked the students to do this exercise with the name MUHAMMAD?

Salt Lake City, UT

So in other words, the D-News "reporter" got this story totally wrong. Why am I not surprised? You know, I am old enough to remember when the Deseret News was a newspaper that actually had integrity. It's been very sad to watch the decline of this paper.

Provo, UT

I'm disappointed by some of these comments. I've read other articles on this incident. The professor missed the point of the exercise that was to open discussion and not use force. Why do some of you believe Ryan was lying? I've been in a similar situation. There is a lot of hate toward Christians among many professors.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

I had a professor for international law in graduate school that seldom completed a sentence without profanity. He loved using all of the most offensive words. Most students in the class seemed entertained. Thursday's class was usually held at Sholze Beer Garden where the professor bought pitchers of beer for the students. Needless to say a Mormon kid from Utah stuck out with his glass of soft drink.

When you are put in an uncomfortable situation you have to stay true to your values. Most people with different values will eventually come to respect you.

Normal Guy
Salt Lake City, UT

It might be in a textbook but any professor should see it's an awful exercise. Write the NAME of Jesus and then have kids step on it to show the importance of symbols? What possible purpose does that serve? The students don't realize that many people revere Jesus until this exercise is done?

Sounds to me like the professor used a dumb suggestion from a textbook and then carried it out to an extreme and ran into a kid who wouldn't back down from his beliefs.

Durham, NC

The story has been well covered and if you just google it, several of the article detail the lesson plan the professor had for this exercise. I get the message he was making.... perhaps not the methodology to get to that point.

As to the "punishment", I don't think anyone said the kid was suspended from school.... but per this piece, simply asked to not return to this class - suspended from this course. Or at least that is my reading of it. I get why the department would do that - remove contention from the class - and I get why the kid would be upset by that as well. He as an academic plan, and dropping from the class would upset this.

I wouldn't want my kid taking this class. The professor is obviously pretty full of himself. At the same time, I am tired of people insisting on apologies. Grow up. Kudos for doing the right thing.... but you know you did the right thing, so just move on and keep doing the right thing. What's an apology going to do for you. Show you are the bigger man and keep moving forward.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments