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FAU Student Suspended for Not Stepping on Jesus

FAU professor Dr. Deandre Poole was running a classroom exercise from a textbook titled Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition in her Intercultural Communications class.

And, apparently, one of the exercises involves writing the word Jesus on a piece of paper, placing it on the floor, and then stepping on it, for some reason.

One student refused to participate, on grounds that stepping on Jesus' name offends him as a religious person. And now that student has reportedly been suspended.

The student, Ryan Rotella is a junior from Coral Springs. He's also a deeply religious Mormon who goes to church every Sunday.

So, as it is with Rotella's beliefs, stepping on the name of Jesus is not cool.

"Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value," Rotella explained.

"So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value."

Sounds reasonable enough. Yet FAU doesn't see it that way, and now Rotella has been given the heave-ho from the class

Rotella says his classmates all took part in the exercise, but he explained to Dr. Poole that he would not, because it offended him.

Rotella also says he went to an associate professor at FAU to talk about the incident, and then found out soon after that he had been suspended from the class.

FAU has said or done pretty much nothing since Rotella's suspension, except release an extremely vague statement to CBS12 about the incident:

"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."

Last we checked, "open discourse" includes respectfully disagreeing with others as well as not engaging in things one finds hurtful or offensive without fear of being shunned.

Yup, it's been a banner twenty-four hours for FAU presidents and professors.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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