BOCA RATON (CBS4) – A student at Florida Atlantic University said he was unfairly suspended from his Intercultural Communications class because he refused to step on Jesus.
Ryan Rotella, a junior from Coral Springs, said the incident began when his professor, Dr. Deandre Poole, asked students in the class to write the word “Jesus” on a piece of paper, fold it up, and step on it.
Rotella, a deeply religious Mormon, told CBS12 that he was offended and refused to participate in the exercise.
“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,” said Rotella.
Rotella said he voiced his concerns to his teacher’s supervisor and later learned he was suspended from the class.
FAU said Dr. Poole was conducting a classroom exercise from a textbook entitled “Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition” and released this statement to CBS12: “Faculty and students at academic institutions pursue knowledge and engage in open discourse. While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate.”
The school has not commented whether the professor would face any disciplinary action.