FL: FAU Group Protests Spitting at Speech


A student group has started a petition demanding Florida Atlantic University take a stronger stance denouncing an incident where a school employee spat on a student protester.

The incident happened Oct. 30, when some Muslims and their allies protested a speech given by Middle East historian Daniel Pipes, who they view as anti-Islamic.

FAU student Sana Akhtar, 23, of Boca Raton, told police and bystanders that a woman wearing an FAU staff polo shirt spat on her and told her, "You don't belong here."

The woman, whom FAU declined to name, apologized. Akhtar did not file a police report.

The spitting incident angered some Muslims, as well as the student chapter of A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Florida, which organized the Oct. 30 protest and is organizing the petition.

FAU issued a statement Nov. 2 saying it investigated the matter and found there were "differing accounts regarding the reported intensity of the exchange." FAU said the employee was not acting in an official capacity and that the university "will continue to strive to provide a safe environment for the free exchange of diverse schools of thought."

University spokeswoman Kristine McGrath said Tuesday the employee was disciplined although she wouldn't elaborate.

"The university, instead of taking a hard stance against this act of discrimination, chose to absolve itself of all responsibility of the incident," the petition reads.

"As a public institution, it should be common policy to have zero tolerance towards this sort of behavior, regardless if the employee was acting in an 'official capacity.'" (MORE)

 


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