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FAU student suspended for not 'stomping on Jesus'

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   March 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM   |   Comments

March 22 (UPI) -- Ryan Rotela, a junior at Florida Atlantic University, said what happened was an insult to his intelligence, not just his devout Mormon beliefs.

Rotela said his Intercultural Communications instructor told students 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 that some classmates did it, but he did not. He told the instructor, Dr. Deandre Poole, that he was offended by the exercise. Ryan said he's a "very religious" Mormon who attends church every Sunday.

"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.

He went to Dr. Poole's supervisor to discuss his concerns. Ryan said that he has been suspended from the class since the incident.

FAU says the classroom exercise did not come from the instructor, but from the textbook "Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition."

FAU sent CBS12 a statement 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."

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

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