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FAU student says he was suspended for not 'Stepping on Jesus'

10:54 AM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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DAVIE, FL (CBS12) -- A student at Florida Atlantic University's campus in Davie says he couldn't believe what he and his fellow students were asked to do  by their instructor three weeks ago.

Ryan Rotela, a junior from Coral Springs at FAU, said what happened was an insult to his intelligence.

He said the instructor in his Intercultural Communications class at FAU told everyone in the class to take out a piece of paper, write the word JESUS on it in bold letters, and then put the paper on the floor and stomp on it.

Ryan said while some of his classmates did it, he did not. He told the instructor, Dr. Deandre Poole, that he was offended by what he wanted him to do.

"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 Ryan.

Ryan said he's a Mormon, goes to church every Sunday and considers himself a very religious person.

He said two days later, he went to Dr. Poole's supervisor, an associate professor at FAU to discuss his concerns. Ryan said since the incident, he has been suspended from the class.

FAU sent us a response by e-mail, saying, "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."

FAU says the instructor was doing a classroom exercise from a textbook entitled "Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition."  

The school would not say if the teachers would face disciplinary action.

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