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FLORIDA STUDENT DECLARES VICTORY AFTER REFUSING TO STOMP ON PAPER BEARING JESUS’ NAME
Posted March 26th, 2013

Florida Atlantic University officials apologize and drop charges against student Ryan Rotela

PRESS RELEASE FROM LIBERTY INSTITUTE

Liberty Institute declares victory on behalf of its client Ryan Rotela, the Florida Atlantic University student who was brought up on academic charges and suspended from class out of retaliation for reporting a lesson to University officials, which included an in-class assignment involving jumping on a sheet of paper bearing Jesus’ name.

In addition to apologizing to Mr. Rotela on its website and following a closed-door meeting with Liberty Institute, University officials agreed not to take any further action against him, will expunge all academic charges from his student records, and will allow him to take the course under the supervision of an alternate professor.

“We are thankful that the University has conceded and done the right thing, so that our client Mr. Rotela can continue pursuing his education without distraction,” said Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute Director of Litigation. “Decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled that students do not leave their First Amendment rights at the school house gate: That is still true today.”

Update—the governor of Florida has requested an inquiry into the university’s policies and how it handled the incident at FAU.

Comments

  1. johnjay60 says:

    Let’s agree this was a bad idea in the first place. But the student’s story that he was SUSPENDED (wow!) for opting out contradicts the Florida Atlantic website. Where is the real “reporting” on this story? Can Mr. Rotela produce a suspension notice and prove the University wrong? Can other students in the class comment about the discrepancy?
    FAU says “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. No students will be disciplined in any way related to this exercise, either inside or outside the classroom.” Who is lying? And where is the corraborating evidence on either side?