Student: FAU professor suspended me for not ‘stomping on Jesus’

 

ejester@MiamiHerald.com

For the second time this year, Florida Atlantic University is making the news for the strange behavior of a professor.

A junior at the university’s Davie campus says his professor threw him out of a course for refusing to “stomp on Jesus.”

Ryan Rotela, of Coral Springs, told CBS12 in West Palm Beach that three weeks ago, the instructor in his Intercultural Communications class asked everyone in the class to take out a sheet of paper, write “Jesus” in bold letters and put the piece of paper on the floor.

The instructor, Deandre Poole, then told the class to stomp on the papers.

Rotela refused, and told Poole he was offended by the instruction.

"Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value. So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value," Rotela told CBS12.

Rotela, who describes himself as a devout Mormon, went to Poole’s supervisor two days later to discuss the incident. He was suspended from the class since the incident.

FAU e-mailed a statement to CBS12 to the effect that sensitive topics are often breached during open discourse, but that a university is the appropriate venue for those discussions. The university would not say if Poole will face disciplinary action for suspending Rotela.

FAU did not immediately respond to The Miami Herald’s request for comment.

Another FAU professor came under fire for telling the Sun Sentinel in January that the Newtown, Conn., massacre of 26 children and adults at an elementary school may not have happened.

Professor James Tracy later claimed he was misunderstood, saying he felt the story of the massacre had been maneuvered by the government and news media into a handy example of a national need for gun control.

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