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#1 FAU Faculty: Stomping on Jesus should not be banned
04-22-2013, 04:29 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
Remember the prof who made students stomp on Jesus? Well, the university removed the exercise from the curriculum, thanks to one brave student and the press coverage his complaint and poor treatment spawned. But, not so fast---
Faculty Committee at Florida Atlantic U. Criticizes Ban on ‘Jesus’ Exercise
A faculty committee at Florida Atlantic University has found that the institution compromised academic freedom when it banned a controversial classroom exercise that asked students to step on a piece of paper with the word “Jesus” written on it, according to The Palm Beach Post.
A student complaint about an instructor’s use of that exercise sparked a public outcry that included a rebuke from Florida’s governor. Florida Atlantic apologized and said the exercise would be removed from its curriculum. The university later placed the instructor, Deandre Poole, on leave, citing concerns about his safety. Mr. Poole’s supporters have argued that the university mishandled his case.
The committee’s findings about the exercise, which are preliminary, were read at a meeting of the university’s Faculty Senate on Friday.
“The committee’s preliminary finding is that there are sufficient grounds for concluding that academic freedom has been compromised,” said a statement read at the meeting cited by the newspaper. “Due diligence requires additional time for the faculty to gather and process all the pertinent facts prior to submitting a final report.”
A faculty committee is expected to issue a final report on the matter in the fall.
04-23-2013, 10:32 AM
04-23-2013, 11:00 AMWe're from Philadelphia, We Fight- Chip Kelly
04-23-2013, 11:35 AM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
I'll side with the teachers on this one. The point isn't that they have the right to stomp on Jesus, it's that banning an academic exercise because someone got his panties in a knot over it is exactly the point of academic freedom. Our universities aren't supposed to teach doctrine, and forbidding disrespect of some god simply because the culture has historically embraced that god is religious discipline in a secular venue.
04-23-2013, 01:00 PMThe Obama Administration: Deny. Deflect. Blame.
04-23-2013, 01:12 PM
I guess in theory they have the right to write down any religious figure's name on paper and stomp on it.“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” – Ayn Rand
Power Point Ranger
04-23-2013, 01:25 PM
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
The practice shouldn't be banned, because I agree that does abridge academic freedom.
Instead, the professor should have been fired and immediately escorted off campus by state troopers within ten minutes of the incident because the professor is obviously entirely too biased to be entrusted with actually teaching anything of value. But, of course, in typical liberal, ivory-towered university insularity, they would have screamed bloody racist if someone had written the word "Obama" on a piece of paper and stomped it. The student who does that will doubtless be brought up on conduct charges and kicked out of school.
The overwhelming majority of universities in the United States stopped caring about academic freedom decades ago.Olde-style, states' rights conservative. Ask if this concept confuses you.
04-23-2013, 02:37 PM
UPDATE: Michael Counter, Director of Media Relations for St. Norbert College, where the aforementioned textbook’s author teaches, responded to our inquiry. Mr. Counter stated that the following exercise, while not included in the textbook (as Florida Atlantic University’s statement noted), is included in the teacher’s manual that accompanies the textbook. The manual reads:
“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.”
First, no one is asked to write the name of their religious icon except for Christians (the exercise doesn't ask Jews to substitute Moses or Muslims to substitute Mohammed). This is specifically directed against believing Christians and is calculated to offend them, and that is not the function of a state-owned university. Second, the student who objected was suspended for refusing to stomp on his card. Third, the professor who initiated the exercise, Deandre Poole, is also the vice-chairman of the Palm Beach Democratic Party. What you have here is a highly partisan political operative using his taxpayer-funded classroom to insult Christians and single out those to who don't along with it for reprisal. That was the purpose of the exercise, and it is despicable, cowardly and utterly at odds with any claims to academic freedom or integrity.
04-23-2013, 03:15 PM“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” – Ayn Rand
Power Point Ranger
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