Good news, everyone! Gov. Rick Scott says he's super-disappointed in Florida Atlantic University having a professor who had a "step on Jesus" exercise in his class that may or may not have gotten a student suspended.
- FAU Student Suspended for Not Stepping on Jesus
- FAU Apologizes for "Stomp Jesus" Exercise; Student Whistleblower Claims Victory
Rick Scott made his disapproval through a letter he signed, making it all very official.
In case you're new to the proceedings, here's what we can gather based on reports, conjecture, and Facebook statuses:
An FAU professor held a class where he asked his students to write Jesus on a piece of paper, fold said paper, put it on the floor, and then step on it.
One of the students, Ryan Rotela, refused to participate because it offended him as a religious person to step on a piece of paper with Jesus written on it.
Rotela apparently took his concern to school administrators, and then he claims he was suspended from the class.
Then we blew up the internet when we reported on this story, and now FAU came out and apologized for the class project, saying it won't be allowing it to be done on campus any more, while never confirming if Rotela was suspended.
Rotela took to Facebook, where he declared victory for himself, Jesus, and all of America.
Our take was that the school was dumb to suspend Rotela -- if, in fact, this was the case.
Rotela refused to participate in a class exercise he felt offended his beliefs. His suspension was uncalled for.
But the real issue here seems to be the school apologizing for the class exercise itself, which has Rick Scott's undies all in a twist too.
From his statement:
"I am deeply disappointed in the recent actions of FAU faculty that raises significant questions over student rights and the lessons being taught in the classroom."
Things start off nicely, with Scott expressing his concern and disappointment over student rights.
Then, he totally Rick Scott'd his argument:
"As we enter the week memorializing the events of Christ's passion, this incident gave me great concern over the lessons we are teaching our students."
Scott starts off on the right note (Rotela's rights were screwed with) but then takes to talking about Christ's passion as if they actually happened and are a historical fact.
Now one might believe that to be the case, and that's cool.
What's off about the whole affair is Scott trumpets a student being offended and then makes statements that might offend those who don't believe in Jesus or the passion or what have you.
Scott goes on to say he spoke with Rotela and gave him a verbal high-five for standing up for his faith and conviction and bravery and then says he asked the university for an incident report.
RICK SCOTT WANTS ANSWERS, DAMN IT.
The lesson here, again, is students should not be forced to do something they find offensive, nor should they be suspended if they decide to sit one out due to legit reasons like, I do not wish to step on my Lord and Savior.
Hell, a B- grade is good enough.
That said: The class exercise itself shouldn't be outlawed either.
College is, after all, a place to express yourself and push one's boundaries.
Not allowing the exercise to be conducted only sweeps the dirt under the rug.
But, as it is with these things, it's one extreme or the other. Derp.
Also, the other lesson here is Rick Scott should've stayed out of this.
There are more important matters to deal with, such as job creation, the expansion of Florida Medicaid, and whether people should be forced to piss in a cup to keep a government job.
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