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These Boots Were Made For Walking

Florida Atlantic University...where do I know that name from?

Oh, yeah!  That was where James Tracy, the lunatic who started the Sandy Hook "truther" movement teaches.

FAU has tried in the ensuing days to make it seem like the university is not run by a bunch of dipshits.

Things like this don't help.

FAU offers a class on intercultural communication, taught by one Deandre Poole (reports take pains to mention she's also the vice-chairman of the Palm Beach Democratic Party, although what the hell that has to do with anything, I don't know).  The textbook is Intercultural Communication:  A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition.  One of the lessons it seeks to teach is as follows:

"This exercise is a bit sensitive, but really drives home the point that even though symbols are arbitrary, they take on very strong and emotional meanings. Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper. Ask 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’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture.”

So, just to make sure we're all on the same page of music -- the exercise is to ask students to stand on a piece of paper with the word "Jesus" on it.  If the student does NOT stand on the paper, ask them why they can't, and use this as a springboard to discuss cultural symbols.

Everybody still with me so far?  That's good!

So, the class is going on, the exercise is proceeding, and it's the turn of one student, a junior named Ryan Rotela.  Rotela is a devout Mormon.  He was instructed to step on the paper.  He refused.

Now, at this point in the exercise, he is supposed to be asked why he won't step on the paper, and then they move on to the next student.

FAU suspended him.

On Thursday, FAU was defending the decision to suspend Rotela.  But by Friday morning, they were singing a different tune.  "We sincerely apologize for any offense this has caused.  Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs.  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."

Which I'm guessing means Rotela is still a student.

Thank God for that.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
mornblade
Mar. 25th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
I can't help but wonder how they would have reacted if he had whipped "it" out in class and let it rain on the piece of paper. Or if he had instead wrote "MOHAMMAD" on the paper and danced a jig.

I am all for religious choice (except in the case of Scientology) so long as a person's religion doesn't cause them to harm others, but I think this class is leaning more toward being Anti-Christian rather than Pro-Interculteralism.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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