Jul 17, 2013 03:13 AM EDT
FAU Decides To Review ‘Stomp On Jesus’ Classroom Exercise Instead Of Imposing an Outright Ban (UPDATE)
Florida Atlantic University's (FAU) controversial classroom exercise, dubbed 'stomp on Jesus' will continue to stay on campus.
The infamous exercise which placed the instructor, Deandre Poole on suspension and partially forced Mary Jane Saunders, the former FAU President to resign, will still be part of a recommended exercise in the classroom textbook, 'Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach.'
Instead of completely banning the exercise to avoid any further criticism, the university officials have decided to deal with the issue by improving faculty training and organizing discussions on civility and academic freedom.
Last month, the university reinstated Poole and also renewed his annual contract.
The authorities also declined to consider Gov. Rick Scott's proposal to ban the exercise.
In a letter to State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan, FAU Provost Brenda Claiborne said,
"To ensure an understanding and appreciation of the sensitive nature of some classroom exercises, administrators and faculty will continue their ongoing discussions about academic freedom and academic responsibility. It is our understanding that faculty in the School of Communications ... will be reviewing the exercise in question."
Earlier when the exercise sparked a public outcry, Saunders, in a letter to Scott, stated that the university has decided to discontinue the stomping exercise in the classrooms. But, an outright ban raised concerns among faculty members, who said that it violated academic freedom.
"The board at FAU has taken this matter seriously. The action items identified in FAU's response, and the removal of key staff, will ensure a more sensitive campus environment," Scott said. "I am hopeful that FAU's actions will ensure that such incidents never happen again."
The university has taken the following steps to ensure not to repeat the incident again:
- Hosting a speaker's series on civility and academic freedom.
- Organizing workshops on dealing with disruptions in class.
- To resolve campus disciplinary matters on time.
- Encouraging a free speech and campus civility website.
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