Florida Atlantic University has issued an apology for a classroom assignment that involving students writing the name “Jesus” on a sheet of paper and then stomping on the paper. The university also said the lesson will never again be used.
“We sincerely apologize for any offense this has caused,” the university said in a prepared statement. “Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs.”
The university initially defended the Christ-bashing lesson which is included textbook titled, “Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition.”
Fox News obtained a synopsis of the lesson taught by Deandre Poole, who also happens to be vice chair of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.
“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper,” the lesson reads. “Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture.”
Ryan Rotela, a devout Mormon, was in the classroom and refused to participate — telling television station WPEC that the assignment was insulting and offensive.
“He had us all stand up and he said ‘Stomp on it,’” Rotela said. “I picked up the paper from the floor and put it right back on the table. I’m not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated.”
Rotela took his concerns to Poole’s supervisor – where he was promptly suspended from the class. The university denied that anyone was forced to participate.
“Contrary to some media reports, no students were forced to take part in the exercise; the instructor told all of the students in the class that they could choose whether or not to participate,” the university stated.
They also denied that anyone was punished.
“While we do not comment on personnel matters, and while student privacy laws prevent us from commenting on any specific student at the University, we can confirm that no student has been expelled, suspended or disciplined by the University as a result of any activity that took place during this class,” the university stated.”
This exercise will not be used again. The University holds dear its core values. We sincerely apologize for any offense this caused. Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs.