Florida Atlantic University student Ryan Rotela claims he was suspended because he refused to step on a Jesus sign. Rotela says Intercultural Communications professor Dr. Deandre Poole told students to write Jesus on a piece of paper, then stomp on the self-made sign.
Ryan Rotela is reportedly a devout Mormon. The Florida college student allegedly told the professor that he found the assignment offensive and refused to participate. During an interview with WPEC-TV, Rotela stated that if you stomp on something, then you must believe that it has no value. The Florida Atlantic University student also said, “So if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value.”
The student maintains that the situation stemming from the Jesus sign incident intensified several days later. Ryan Rotela reportedly went to Dr. Deandre Poole’s supervisor to complain about the Intercultural Communications class assignment.
According to the Florida Atlantic University student, he was suspended from the class after voicing the complaint. When asked about the suspension, the college issued this statement:
“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.”
University officials maintain Dr. Deandra Poole was merely engaging in a classroom activity from a textbook. The book is reportedly entitled, Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition. The college gave no comment about disciplinary action against the professor when the question was posed by local journalists.
Ryan Rotela also commented that he went to college to get a degree and not be insulted. Rotela followed the instructions when told to write Jesus on a sheet of paper and place it on the floor. Once Dr. Poole allegedly said to stomp on the paper, Rotela picked it back up and put it on his desk.
The Florida Atlantic University student feels like he is being punished for standing up for his religious beliefs. Ryan Rotela also said he is still waiting for an apology and feels like he is owed one by someone at the college. FAU was also embroiled in controversy earlier this year when a professor questioned whether or not the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown actually occurred.
What do you think about the Jesus sign stomp assignment.
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