Student offended by class assignment
DAVIE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida college student claimed he was suspended from class after refusing to do an assignment he thought was offensive.
A student at Florida Atlantic University accused a professor of crossing the line.
Ryan Rotela claims he was suspended from class for refusing to trample on a piece of paper with the name Jesus on it. "I'm not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated," said Rotela.
Rotela, a junior at the university said the instructor of his Intercultural Communication class told students to take out a piece of paper. "He told everybody to write Jesus in bold letters. So what I did was I wrote Jesus just like this."
It's what they were asked to do next that Rotela said was an insult to his intelligence and beliefs. "And then afterwards, he said, 'Everybody put it on the floor.' So we took it out put it on the floor, and he had us all stand up and then he told us to stomp on it."
While some of his classmates went through with the exercise. He refused. "That's when I picked up the paper from the floor," said Rotela, "and put it right back on the table."
Ryan said he is a Mormon and goes to church every Sunday. He considers himself a very religious person. "Anytime you stomp on something it shows you believe something has no value," said Rotela, "so if you were to stomp on the word Jesus it says the word has no value."
He claims he went to the professor's supervisor, an associate professor at the university to discuss his concerns and ended up getting suspended.
FAU released a statement stating, "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 statement also stated, "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 school added the assignment was taken from an example in a textbook, and the exercise will not be used again.
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