I couldn't step on it either---as a Latter-day Saint, you could ask me to
write "Koran" on a piece of paper and stomp on it---I wouldn't do
that either.Messed up example of teaching if you ask me.
re: BrentBotI'm curious as to the professors religious
beliefs.At m.g. scottI don't disagree. I wonder how
were business majors who are learning to do 'anything in pursuit of the
I too have read several accounts of this incident. One even quoted from the
instruction manual for the class. The student was infact suspended from the
class, not from the school. This professor has a reputation for doing things
like this. He should be removed from his assignment as professor. College is to
help a person think, not to have their beliefs made a mockery.
justmesal"For all those who claimed he was not punished, did you
not read the article before writing. Or do you not believe that being suspended
from school is a punishment? Would really like to understand your
thinking."Yes, I read the article. And I also read a number of
other articles in other news sources, and the student was NOT punished for
anything that went on in this classroom exercise.Check your sources,
then apply some critical thinking.
I thought the University's revised comment; in which an 'apology'
was offered was interesting. They assured everyone that they have core values
that they hold to - though apparently not unless someone calls them on them ---
other wise, it seems that they are willing to push the limits and then hold out
on a bluff, which this brave student called.What I find tragic is
that many institutions in this country really don't have core values any
more. They may claim they do and point to a written statement, but more often
than not, many groups are willing to surrender their values in an attempt to
capitalize on a new trend that looks appealing; if not promising, or in an
attempt to please the crowd.We should all do better at truly
supporting those who do indeed have values and live them regardless of the
For all those who claimed he was not punished, did you not read the article
before writing. Or do you not believe that being suspended from school is a
punishment? Would really like to understand your thinking.
It appears the professor gets his curriculum from Michael Scott of The Office.
"I think that it is interesting that their wording was " any offense we
may have caused" as if they didn't recognize that it was
offensive."Hmnn. . . That's interesting, because I
don't see the exercise as offensive at all. And I don't think the
University had anything to apologize for. But of course now days everyone is
expected to apologize, aren't they? Yep, we cater to those most
easily offended now days.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the event, to use a name sacred to
any religion or group of people is disrespectful an inappropriate. Wonder what
the reaction would have been if the name selected had been Buddha or Allah? If
there was a point to be made by the exercise then using a less sensitive word
would have been more appropriate.
I think that it is interesting that their wording was " any offense we may
have caused" as if they didn't recognize that it was offensive. They
were still not taking responsibility for their actions.
In my religion, we believe Jesus guides our footsteps, and "stomping" on
a picture of him or his written name is a sacred rite we go through each morning
to remind us to "walk in paths of righteousness".So why is
my sacred religious rite being turned into a horrible thing by this Mormon
student? That is offensive, and disrespects my religious freedom!Shame on this student for his narrow-minded views about my religion. He should
have more respect for the religious beliefs of others.
Fourth try"Whenever I travel to Republican events around the
state, the first question is almost always, “So tell me, is it hard to be
a Republican at Berkeley?” They assume that my daily life consists of
constant liberal brainwashing from professors, hostility from other students and
scoffing from administrators.I’ve experienced all of that
during the last four years at Berkeley, but that hasn’t represented the
majority of my interactions on this campus. Instead, I find that most students
and professors are genuinely curious to hear a minority point of view. They
appreciate the opportunity to hear the conservative position that so many in the
nation hold but so few on this campus publicly confess.One of the
biggest problems in American politics is that voters have self-segregated.
Democrats live in the urban areas on the coast, Republicans in rural areas
inland. As a result, most voters only talk to people who believe as they do.
They don’t understand the perspective of those who believe differently and
thus punish their elected officials for compromising."(Andy
Nevis, a political science major, was director of the UC Berkeley Republicans
I am the biggest fan of multiculturalism and diversity. There is a lot that we
can learn by looking over cultural divides. There is a lot that I have
learned.Having said that, this incident illustrates how inadequate
diversity teaching is in the US. The instructor wants to show how we need to be
sensitive when communicating over a cultural and he does it by an offensive
display. The fact that he choose an example that would be offensive to
Christians illustrates that he did know that it was offensive but he is aligning
himself with current political dogma.Diversity is good, but we need
to sit down and have a long discussion about how to improve it, because what is
being done is not effective.
High time for some faculty and staff to be summarily terminated. I don't
care if the over-schooled instructor has twenty Ph.D.'s . . . he need to be
forced to go out into the real world and find some gainful employment.
Had there been papers for each with Jesus, Martin Luther, King James * Budda
etc. ans students asked to stomp on each, I wonder what the reaction would be.
Should it have been not to stomp on anyone. What if Joseph Smith & Hitler
were added?Meanwhile outside the classroom we share "jokes"
about others and seldom does anyone protest.
There are many arguments that this was a teaching exercise and the bigger
picture or the lesson learned justifies the technique. First, this is still
offensive to many christians by calling Jesus a symbol in society. While
non-believers may see it that, believers see Jesus as a person who is the savior
of the world. Any disrespect to him or his name regardless of the lesson being
taught is unacceptable. Also, just because you can create a
situation that teaches a point that instructor would like students to see, does
not make it appropriate or acceptable behavior. For example, would it be
acceptable to ask students to remove their clothes in class to see how many
would refuse or would remove their clothes to show how different cultures view
the nature of covering up or not, as many native villages still wear very
little, or to show the effect of pornography on our culture. While that may
teach to a point of view, it is certainly unacceptable. Any argument that such
practices are okay because a lesson being taught, is short sighted at best!!
This kind of process was precisely how the Japanese authorities tried to
exterminate Christianity in Japan back in the 16th Century. Perople suspected
of being Christians were told to stomp on a cross, or an icon of Jesus or of
Mary, mother of Jesus. Those who refused to do so were then punished, up to and
including death. Could a professor tell his students that they have
to be baptized in class? Or take communion in another religious denomination?
Or prostrate themselves toward Mecca and repeat an Islamic prayer? Or on the
other hand draw a cartoon that insults Mohammad or ridicules Native American
religion or Buddhism? Would a Hindu student be required to eat meat? Some professors are on an ego trip when it comes to their power over students.
Rather than see themselves as serving and helping the students, they see the
students as being pawns in their own game of accumulating academic power and
prestige. Rather than being scholars, such professors are closed-minded bigots.
It isn't reported what the other students' reactions were, but this
would (maybe was meant to be) the beginning of some great discussions of an
individual's response in a group, the reactions of people to the group
behavior when their personal values are not shared by the group and what it
means to follow personal values over following the group, or how an authority
figure might affect a group member's behavior. I'm just throwing out
ideas here, since the professor might simply be anti-Christian and like a lot of
people, just not be able to see things from the other side--very human, but not
where a professor should but his or her personal self. Until we have the rest of
the story (apologies to Paul Harvey) we should take a step back and not judge
anyone--or their behavior.
15 years ago at the U of U, a history professor openly attacked the LDS
endowment claiming that it had no "religious value." I was there.In many academic circles (not all) there is an anti-religious bias that
runs deep. Take care where you send your children to school.
In the final 'Book of Life', that young man will receive a big tick of
approval. He certainly gets one from me.
What if it had been the 'Prophet Muhammed', the university would
probably be in flames at this time, and the Mullahs in the entire middle east,
would have the entire staff and faculty under death sentences, and, another few
US embassies would be in ashes. Interesting thought, is it not?
Bomar,Thank you for educating me as to my personal political belief.
I was lost without your input.Lost, thank you for making my point
for me. I don't think he should just leave; I think he should challenge
the issue and should defend his position. My point was that some conservative
posters are duplicitous; they claim that gays, liberals, non-Mormons, etc.
should all leave places where they feel they are mistreated, but claim some sort
of needed protection for this young adult. No one is entitled to attend the
best university, or any university, that has their program of choice; otherwise
there would be endless lawsuits by entering freshman who were just rejected from
their pick of schools. At the end of the day, I believe all parties
have overreacted in this case. This is a media firestorm because it's a
perfect story for both political sides to use as propaganda to further their own
@OHBUAs a police officer for thirty years I met many polite and respectful
people who wanted to disagree with me. We parted company fully respectful of
each other even though we may have disagreed. Why don't you believe this
is possible?As to investigative proceedures I concur. But the letter
orders him to appear before a student council for his post incident conduct
charging him with violations of the student conduct. This is not
punishment...it's where they hand out punishment for "charges".As to "liberal professors" I have said nothing about them so I
don't get your inference. Besides which I have two liberal arts degrees
and have been an acting "liberal professor" and have wonderful
relationships with most "liberal professors." I have spent most of the
last 15 years working with kids this age. I disagree with your attitude towards
them as a whole. Me thinks you doth protest to much!
Claudio,Methinks that you are too far to the left to realize it. I
am sure that Mr Rotela was not aware of the exercise prior to it being assigned.
Furthermore, it is probably one of those "required classes". I would
suggest, next time, Dr Prejudice use Mohammed or copies of the Koran in this
exercise and see what the reaction to that would be.
The school did not apologize until the incident was made public. I doubt they
are sorry it happened, just that it was made public.Claudio,Go
somewhere else? What if this university has the best program for his desired
field and this was a required general ed class? Should he just walk away? This
is a public funded school; by allowing them to openly denigrate religion, you
are violating the 1st amendment.But you are probably correct that he
should go elsewhere; the school will likely find some subtle way to
retaliate.Maudine, not go back – so get an
“incomplete” or “F” for the class and forfeit the
tuition and lose the time already spent?ECR,Regardless of
whether or not it was voluntary, why is such a bigoted exercise allowed in a
publicly funded university?
Re: MTDocI have not stated that I am liberal, conservative, or
something else. For you to assume as such is a large leap on your part and
quite presumptuous. You have also implied that I am not Christian. I am,
though I don't know why my religious beliefs should be considered relevant
to the discussion. Finally, I didn't state anywhere in this discussion
that I was for or against the act of the teacher. My comment simply pointed out
the duplicity made by some posters who have stated they are conservative. Have a nice day; hopefully you don't attempt to disparage anyone
else without evidence.
In the early 80's, in an Alaskan college, my Alaska history instructor for
some reason, erroneously referenced a tidbit of lower 48 LDS history, of which I
refuted, after couple minutes of discussion I simple backed off quietly shaking
my head no. I few weeks later, he conveniently "lost" my final
examine, and my efforts to get a retake was ignored and never responded too. In
the end I received an in-complete for the course. I sure wish, I had the
same courage this young man had. Kudos to Rotela!
I was enrolled in a Spanish 1 course at Salt Lake Community College. The
professor was openly hostile about the Mormon church, and spent twenty minutes
of our first class on a rampage against the church. I sat stunned as I listened
to his hate filled speech. I just wanted to learn Spanish.
"Yo, my peeps all be conformin' cuz it's cool to be a Mormon!"
@SLCWatchFrom the source you cite, it mentions that he was told not
to go to class or contact any other students until them met with him. But
contrary to the story you're selling: "Dr. Charles Brown, FAU's
senior vice president of student affairs, said that Rotela was never up for
punishment for refusing to participate in the exercise, however." Again,
whatever happened in the class prompted the university to separate the parties
until they could complete an investigation. This is equivalent to police
separating all involved parties in an incident until they have a chance to
interview them and take statements. Everyone seems to be upset that the
university actually took time to carry out an investigation, rather than
accepting the student's story wholesale.As to my preconceived
notions, don't you think your bias against "liberal professors" is
showing quite strongly? I've dealt with kids this age a lot, sometimes
after arrests. They all insist that they addressed the policeman "With all
due respect to your authority, sir, I wasn't speeding." People
generally don't speak in legalese, except in formal statements.
The chief omission in this article is that the professor is a Democractic
operative. I think it speaks to anti-Christian bigotry coalescing right now in
the American left--something that we Christians need to be gravely concerned
@OHBUWhy do you assume one adult speaking to another is
impolite..preconcieved opinion? Yes, I actually believe him. Don't you
behave like an adult?I did not say he didn't protest... in fact his
protest to him is quoted by you. As I have read reports from many sources and
none so far as I have read say there was any request to leave or even an
argument beyond his disagreement with proceeding I can't respond...name a
source please.We do know why he was suspend because the suspension letter
is public and came from the school. It also ordered him not to talk to other
students or faculty.As the school has acknowledge the professor was wrong,
that other students also complained and that the course outline was not followed
(NBC News) I think your assumption about the student still reflects a prejudice
you accuse him of having.
There is a big difference between this happening at a private university, where
freedom of association, and this happening at a public university where his
First Amendment religious rights are at stake.
@SLCWatchRight, I don't see how I misread the comments re:
Mohammed. People asked why they used Jesus instead of Mohammed, I answered:
Because the students were likely predominantly Christian, not Muslim. Also, he did protest to the teacher about the exercise, and from some reports,
she asked him to leave. That's not mutually exclusive to his being given a
written suspension from the school. Truth is, we still don't know why he
was given the suspension, because we're only getting his side of the story,
and the university is not allowed by law to comment on the details. Students
are not suspended for reporting what they believe is inappropriate. Much more
likely is that the conversation between him and the professor got heated, and
the university asked him not to go to class while they investigate. His
suspension would have been based on interviews with the professor and fellow
students. Does anybody really believe he protested to the professor by saying
"With all due respect to your authority as a professor, I do not believe
what you told us to do was appropriate."?
This could go a long way towards convincing some that Mormons are Christians.
I live in the Seattle area. Many of my coworkers have no problem with a
professor imposing such requirements on students. There was a professor at a
Utah College that showed gay porn to his class (special meeting, not required
but roll was taken). My coworkers had no problem with that. The same professor
required his classes to write a paper on "Gay Marriage, Pro or Con"
Those who wrote against Gay marriage failed the class. This was an ethics class.
You had to take ethics to graduate and he was the only one to teach ethics at
the institution.You had to lie to pass an ethics class.I
wonder how they would feel if they were required to write papers supporting
things that they opposed, or the converse?Should pro labor students be
required to write pro business papers?Should environmentalist students be
required to write about environmental excesses?Should Gay students be
forced to write papers opposing Gay marriage?Many professors that
that their academic freedom gives them the right to destroy the freedom of their
Classic example of University tolerance. They will tolerate any type of
lifestyle as long as you're not religious.
@OHBUIt is amazing what happens when one actually reads what
happened and doesn't make assumptions. As for the Muhammad thing, you
mis-read the statements here also. They are only asking a "what if".
Yes the Muslims would be just as offended as Christians would. That is where
the exercise was, as you point out, supposed to move on to the power of symbols.
Your mis-reading or lack of research on what actually happened and your
assumptions are obvious too. He was not asked to leave by the instructor.
Perhaps you have a negative attitude towards LDS people that makes you jump to
conclusions and you went off on a self-rightous tirade with your "guess"
about "reading between the lines". Do you see how the shoe fits?For those who missed it, the student was given a written suspension from
the school for protesting up the administration ladder.
It took courage not to simply "follow through" and do what the professor
told him to do. There are numerous studies following just how far
subordinates will go when instructed by so-called "authority figures."
(Witness the inexplicable success of the Nazi regime in eradicating Jews,
genocide in Serbia and Rowanda, the Japanese rape of Nan King, the list goes on
and on and unfortunately, we Americans are not unsullied as the history of the
American Indian nations will attest.) Study after study confirms
that most people willingly relinquish and surrender their sense of what is right
or wrong when someone "in charge" tells them to do something they would
ordinarily never do.It is good that this young man stood up for his
belief, but wouldn't it have been better to have also stayed and discussed
his decision with his classmates? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps the
class atmosphere was so hostile that it would been like singing "Hava
Nagila" (a Jewish folk song that means "let us rejoice") in a
Munich beer hall in 1939. But I would like to think it was not that way.There was probably more happening here than is being reported.
Isn't it odd that the sanctimonious university with it's great
"core values" caved once the media got hold of the story. Now they are
falling all over themselves to apologize, the governor is involved, and every
Berg in America has heard the story. The instructor was reported to head the
county Democratic party, don't know if their is a link there (:,) I
can't for the life of me see how ones education could be advanced by such a
Once it made the news, then they thought it necessary to apologize and call it
wrong. Like in most cases, a wrong is not a wrong unless you get caught and it
makes you look bad. It is sad that wrong is not wrong and right is not good,
whether anyone knows or not. The old "CYA" seems to dominant ones
Here is what we don't know based on the articles i have read:-
Did the professor follow the text instructions? The text says there should be
some discussion if some are hesitant to step on the paper. We really have no
idea what else took place in that class.- Was this student the only one
that was offended and spoke up? No other students have spoken out although the
attorney for the student said the school admitted other students were also
offended.- Was the student a jerk in how he complained to the professor or
to the superiors? - Was the student merely told not to return to the class
because of the issue at hand and the student interpreted this as a
"suspension"? Unless more information is leaked from other
students, it is really only a he said/they said situation. It would be very
interesting to know what actually took place from other students. At the end of
the day, I get the pupose of the activity (to create discussion), however, there
are certainly better ways to accomplish those purposes.
I am ashamed for the students in the class who did stomp on Jesus. It was a
stupid exercise, but it may say more about the students than the instructor.
It never seems to amaze me that institutes of higher education always believe
they are the "enlightened" ones and whatever they say is truth and their
word is usually law. I don't remember my college years as a time of input
but of listening to endless lectures and repeating on tests what I was told.
Professors are notorious for pushing the envelope--sometimes for the better and
sometimes just to get their agenda across. I don't really see the value of
this exercise but I do see a teacher pushing their agenda onto a student that
becomes got between standing for their belief and wanting to please the
professor, get a good grade and graduate. Kudos to the student and shame on this
teacher. Higher Education isn't always the Enlightened as they'd like
to think and a little humility would help them see this but that's
something they are lacking in.
There is still a lot of missing information from this whole situation. However,
here is what we do know based on other articles i have read:- The
professor chose to use an activity that asked students to write down the name of
Jesus and then proceed to step/stomp on it.- The student was upset about
the activity and later went to meet with the supervisor of the professor to
complain and was told he was suspended from that class- The University
defended the activity initially stating the professor was merely following what
was detailed in the text. There was no apology.- The Associate Dean of
the University levied charges of academic and conduct violations against the
student who was told not to attend the class nor to talk to any other students
- The University later provided an apology for the activity and stated it
would not be used anymore. It also stated it was not aware of any suspension or
punishment and that the student could still attend the class through other
means.Based on this information, we know the University has
backpedaled substantially since the story came out. They obviously didn't
handle it very well.
Situations like this show the hypocracy of many on the left. What if the paper
said "Mohammed" or "Black People" or "Jews" or
"Women"? There would be outrage and that professor would run out of
town on a rail. What the purpose of the exercise was has little relevance. How
many Christians stepped on the paper because they are intimidated by other
students or feared getting a bad grade from the professor.It is
ironic that there are protections in the workplace against a "hostile work
environment." However, students who are far more at the mercy of the
professor, have virtually no protection. There are not many professors who
truly welcome open debate. It is agree with them or suffer the consequences.
"Academic freedom" applies to professors, but students have virtually no
rights - unless the professor is dumb enough to make a sexist or racial comment
- in which case the professor will be promptly disciplined. This is
not teaching, it is bullying, and this professor and the assistant dean should
be out on the behinds. The same should happen to any other professor who tried
the same thing with the paper reading "Mohammed", "Buddha",
"Black People", "Jews" or "Women".
Everyone asking why not use Mohammad for the exercise, the answer is quite
simple. Because the point of the exercise was to get the students to think why
they couldn't step on the paper. For the exercise to work, the students
need to be predominantly Christian--a Christian will not feel the same sense of
conflict if Mohammad is written on the paper.You have completely
missed the point. The teacher was not trying to get the students to disavow
Christianity and stomp on Jesus. She was trying to get students to think about
why a scrap of paper with a name holds such symbolic value in society. The
assignment assumes, in fact, that students WON'T step on the name. To me, this sounds like a student looking to get offended. There seems
to be a high incidence within the LDS church of members wanting to be
persecuted, to feel like they're standing up to something. My guess,
reading between the lines, he went on a self-righteous tirade and was asked to
leave for that, not for refusing to "stomp on Jesus."
The student was suspended from class for going to the dean and complaining about
the activity. The institution claims that he was not suspended for anything
that happened in class. Evidence indicates that this statement is misleading
at best. Had he been suspended for his conduct when he met with the dean, the
punishment would be suspension from the university instead of suspension from
one particular class. Surely, he would not have been suspended had Muhammad or
Martin Luther King been written on the paper. In fact, it would be likely that
the professor would be facing the discipline.I agree with
"Civil", who recommended you do a search for and read this article
published by Forbes: FAU College Student Who Didn't Want To Stomp On
'Jesus' Runs Afoul of Speech Code. The article, written by an
atheist, outlines how mainstream academia lives by a double standard when they
support discrimination against Christians that they wouldn't tolerate were
it directed towards another religious or ethnic group.
If the student was asked to step on the name of Muhammad, Buddha, or Mahatma
Gandhi, I venture to say that the politically correct community would be up in
Funny it took the University a few days to "recognize" all religions and
faiths. Disappointed it wasn't automatic. I be this student won't get
an A out of the class.
Claudio, I suspect your reaction would be totally different if a Muslim was told
to stomp on the Koran at BYU (which of course wouldn't happen). You
liberals are all for something that tear at the core values of this country
(Christian principles), but sure can't take any offense to alternative
Why do so many people become inflamed over a newspaper article that may not be
entirely accurate? I am always skeptical of news reports that consist entirely
of a summary of information gathered by a different news agency. It has the
feel of gossip to me. I have some questions about the incident and those
involved although I doubt they will be answered. Did any other students besides
the subject of this article complain about the incident? Have any other
students in the class been interviewed to learn their views and perspectives?
Were there others in the class who refused to stomp on the name of Jesus but did
not take their story to the media? Is this the first time this exercise has
been done in class or has the instructor used it in previous semesters? What
are the religious beliefs of the instructor? Is he Christian, Muslim,
non-believer? If the university has apologized to the student and any others
who might have been offended by the incident, should we feel compelled to accept
the apology and move on?
What would have been the outcry if they were asked to write "Mohammed"
on the paper and stomp on it? Go to a different university if you don't
like it? Hardly. Talk about duplicity.
There are some interesting comments by people deriding conservatives on this
article, and noting the "duplicity" involved. Perhaps you can tell us
how we should be happy about treading the name of our Savior underfoot while
embracing gay marriage and other things that go against our values. You really
aren't any more tolerant than anyone else; you just take issue with
conservative, traditional values. This comment thread is like the
university. If you don't like what's going on, go somewhere else. It
seems incredible to me that "progressives" can, in one breath, castigate
us for holding to our beliefs as well as for not embracing theirs. It's not
us being reactionary or them being more forward-looking. It's simply a
group of people trying to shame others for having a set of values that
doesn't change with the cause du jour...
This shouldn't even be a point of debate because it never should have taken
place. The fact that this even happened in a college classroom is an indication
of just far we have sunk as a culture. It's just disgusting. How much
time do we have left before we completely go over the cliff?
Juan Williams, a commentator on FOX News wrote an opinion article about this
incident and clarified some of the issues. The university included these
remarks in their web posted apology, "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." Moreover, the university denies that the student was suspended
because of this episode stating, "... 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.” And
so it appears that someone, either the student or those reporting on the
incident, is not being honest. Of course the right wing media is focusing on
this issue as another example of the so-called war on Christianity. But with
the evidence of dishonest remarks I'm wondering who should really be the
subject of our disdain. And when will Christians get over their persecution
complex and start doing the work that Jesus asked them to do?
Obviously the textbook has a bias.
Substitute the word Jesus with ZERO or Mohammed and let the "exercise in
advanced nonsense" continue. Private or public this undoubtedly tenured
professor is only trying to get under someones skin. The weird do have control
of what is taught to our students and future leaders and in my opinion it
ain't good. You're fired Teach.
So how come no one has called for the suspension or firing of this instructor?
I for one, were I in a position to do so, would at the very least suspend this
instructor. Mainly for being stupid. I'd most likely fire her also.
Whatever point she was trying to make has backfired and frankly has no place in
an academic setting. If she doesn't like Jesus, then try to make the point
in another way. She's there to teach, not shock.
So, the article states he was suspended - but later states he was told not to go
back to the class he had issues with. There is a big difference
between being suspended and being told not to attend a class where you are
having a dispute with the teacher. Important facts are definitely
missing from the story.
As a professor at an East Coast institution of higher education who has
witnessed religious bigotry occur in academies far too often, I can tell you
that this young man is very courageous and correct in his behavior. Students in
the academy have an obligation to protect those revered as religious leaders,
whether they be Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha. What this professor did was
shamefully wrong. College teachers are not to proselytize their views nor to
attack the opinions of students, especially those held sacred. In addition, the
first university statement was indeed a punishment of the student. The
professor needs a serious reprimand and should be pulled from the course so that
this young man and other men and women in the classroom have their beliefs
protected. While it is legitimate to challenge ones belief through a course of
proper inquiry, the actions of this professor assumes there is no need for
honest inquiry and that questions regarding religious belief have been settled.
Indeed, in far too many institutions in America, views are protected from almost
every realm, but religious belief is often denied its due respect.Three cheers for this young man for defending religious belief!
Since when did stomping on a piece of symbolically inscribed paper constitute
"dialogue and debate?" There is no two-way exchange of ideas in such an
exercise. That is not an intellectual or academic event. It is called
indoctrination. The assignment clearly revealed the agenda of the professor and
trampled on the rights of the students, rights that extend beyond religious
rights. The professor should not engage in such a practice even if he required
the students to write "Satan" or "Mother" or "President
Obama" or anything else on a piece of paper. Stomping is a physical
exercise for the gymnasium.
Ok all you "enlightened" folks out there, answer me this. Why did the
professor not use Mohomad to stomp on? Yea that's right, if he had he would
probably have death threats now. But its ok if you disparage Christians in such
a way now days, right? The ones taking the side of the professor and the college
most likely have some hate issues over religion and love this kind of thing. I
am sure you're argument is I don't know you, but really I do know your
No state-supported university should hire a Democratic activist to teach a class
in "inter-cultural communication". That's just asking that the
class become a propaganda for a political party.
Mostly I am liberal - but here I will say that the University, and all of
it's staff involved were just wrong. Period!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How would this story have gone if the professor asked the students to do this
exercise with the name MUHAMMAD?
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"
ClaudioI 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.
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.
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
@ ClaudioI'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.
"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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Re: procuradorfiscalSo 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
Rotela = Stud
I was trying to figure out why a teacher would ask a student to do this, so I
researched past this article. What's weird here is the whole point of the
lesson was to discuss when inevitably a student refuses to step on the name.
We've only heard the student's statement and a the University saying
they won't allow the particular activity again. I'm wondering if the
student stormed out or refused to participate in the discussion.“Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period
of silence instruct them to step on the paper,” the synopsis said.
“Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss
the importance of symbols in culture.”
I really liked the university's apology. It holds dear its core values...
What core values. It also says they welcome all religions...That's an odd
way to welcome someone who happens to be christian. The apology was hollow at
Re: "No one is forcing this young man to attend that class or that
university."But, why should he be forced out of a university he
and his parents' tax monies pay for?
re:JohnJJHS,southmtmanfrom the DN article:"Rotela, a
devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, refused to
complete the exercise and was suspended by the university after reporting the
incident to the instructor’s supervisor, CBS News reported on March
21."I would say a suspension is punishment. Which seems way
overboard and inappropriate. However, If the student simply
refused what did the instructor do? Did he punish the student in any way?I see nothing wrong with the student refusing to do it and expressing why he
wouldn't do it to the teacher. The teacher should respect the
student's refusal to do it. The teacher doesn't need to apologize
however, unless he punished the student for not doing it. What was
the point of the exercise? What point was the teacher trying to make? It
would be nice to hear more of the story.
Rotella was punished. "The fourth paragraph states: Rotela, a devout member
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, refused to complete the
exercise and was SUSPENDED by the university after reporting the incident to the
instructor’s supervisor, CBS News reported on March 21" (caps mine).
He was punished and probably reinstated. I wonder what happened to the
professor. Was she punished, reprimanded?
Kinda blows my mind. To say that Jesus doesn't mater, is like saying that
no one does. That student lone money has rely gone to their head, as the value
of the dollar is worth less and less every day.
Interesting that the university didn't care much about their students until
suddenly the media got a hold of the story, then suddenly they had a reversal of
I'm going to go ahead and guess that the actual situation is much more
complicated. I'm also having a hard time buying that he started with
"with all due respect to your authority..." etc. This all sounds like a
whitewashed story by the student and the university is not going to be able to
say anything about what he did because of student privacy laws. According to
other news sources, the exercise was completely optional, and the only
confrontation was initiated by the student. In fact, the exercise apparently
assumes students won't step on Jesus: "Ask why they can’t step
on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture." Again,
everything sounds outlandish when you are only getting one side of the story.
As is often expressed by those who comment on these boards to those who have
views that they disagree with, if you don't like the class/university go
somewhere else! No one is forcing this young man to attend that class or that
university. Don't all you conservatives believe, as you've been
posting numerous times over the on the same-sex marriage articles today, that a
minority shouldn't deliberately go into a place where s/he is uncomfortable
simply to try to change attitudes of the majority? The duplicity really is
He was initially told that he was suspended by the University. Only after CBS
did their reeport did they retract that and restore him to class. This article
leaves out that the instructor is the county Democratic party chairman and that
he has issues with religion as reported in the CBS local story. The class
demonstration from the manual was to have students place the paper on the floor
and ask students to step on it (not stomp) and when some of the students
hesitate the instructor is supposed to ask why some people hesitate. He is then
supposed to explain the power of symbols to people. No one was supposed to be
forced to do it and there was apparently no attempt to force him or threaten his
grades. He didn't like the method used by the instuctor and complained to
the department head and that was when he was suspended and the school initally
supported the instructor. At least that is how I read the original story
yesterday. Stupid example for a university level class about symbols anyway.
Of course the writer of this article couldn't be bothered to write the
point of the exercise as stated in the textbook which is to note how there are
people who will hesitate to follow through with it and what symbols end up
He should sue the university for 100 million dollars, just for kicks and giggles
just to watch them crumble.
@JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt & southmtnmanHow was he
punished?Direct quote from the story: "and was suspended by the
university after reporting the incident to the instructor’s supervisor,
CBS News reported on March 21."I suspect suspention qualifies as
He doesn't need to be punished. This headline is wrong. What it
should of read was, teacher fired for being out to lunch.I would like go
write something more negative, but it would get flagged
Good job, Ryan Rotela. It takes guts to stand up against a majority, and stand
up for your beliefs.Cow pies to the istructor, who apparently
didn't have enough of a clue to realize how offensive an exercise like that
could be. I hope the instructor learned something from this.
Perhaps I missed it, but how exactly was this student punished?No
doubt the instructor had a point that he was trying to make by this activity.
Did the author of the article omit the educational point on purpose, or was it
simply an oversight? Taking the very narrow description of "stomping on the
name Jesus" completely out of context seems lazy, at least, and deliberately
misleading at worst.
I am LDS and a disciple of Jesus Christ. While I applaud the student for not
stoping on the paper, I am failing to see how he is being punished. He has not
been suspended nor his grade in the class impacted. Keep going to the class and
show the others you say what you mean and mean what you say. I do not see in
the story he was barred, only asked not to go. Keep going to class until a
resolution is at hand. If he is suspended or expelled, by all means get legal
Wow, what a fine institution of learning. Religious persecution alive and well.
it takes guts to stand up to abusive authority. Thank You young man.
Great job Mr. Rotela!!!!!