Florida Atlantic University officials are no longer promising an outright ban on the infamous “step on Jesus” classroom exercise, but their pledge to review the lesson with faculty and institute changes appears to have satisfied a concerned Gov. Rick Scott.
After an FAU student complained in March about an intercultural communications class activity in which students were asked to write “Jesus” on a piece of paper and then step on it, Scott asked State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan for a report on the incident and assurances that “this type of ‘lesson’ will not occur again.”
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FAU’s evolving responses to ‘Jesus’ incident
Since a student complained about an intercultural communications class exercise in which students were asked to write “Jesus” on a piece of paper and step on it, Florida Atlantic University has had differing responses:
- March 20: “As with any academic lesson, the exercise was meant to encourage students to view issues from many perspectives…. While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate.”
- March 25: “Based on the offensive nature of the exercise, we will not use it again and have issued an apology to the community. It was insensitive and unacceptable.”
- July 1: “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 the faculty in the School of Communications and Multimedia Studies will be reviewing the exercise in question.”