Florida college student suspended for refusing to stomp Jesus

FAU Professor Deandre Poole

When a Florida Atlantic University (FAU) student refused a professor’s direct order to stomp on the name of Jesus during an Intercultural Communications class, he was suspended.

“I’m not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated,” said student Ryan Rotela.

The assignment required Rotela and other classmates to write the name of Jesus on a piece of paper, place it on the floor, and then stomp on it.

A synopsis of the lesson plan in question, obtained by Fox News, states:

“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper 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.”

Rotela told the instructor, Deandre Poole, that the assignment was insulting and offensive.

Rotela told television station WPEC, “I said to the professor, ‘With all due respect to your authority as a professor, I do not believe what you told us to do was appropriate. I believe it was unprofessional and I was deeply offended by what you told me to do.'”

Photo courtesy of CBS – WPEC Channel 12

When Rotela went to Poole’s supervisor, he was immediately barred from returning to the class.

The Florida taxpayer-funded university is defending the assignment and the professor’s directive to demand that students violate their religious principles – or face suspension.

The American Family Association in an email is asking its members to, “Urge Florida Governor Rick Scott and your state legislators to demand immediate and corrective action be taken against Professor Poole and involved FAU staff.”

FAU recently hosted Israel Apartheid week run by the Muslim Students Association, which is siding with Arab Palestinians and demanding the end to the state of Israel. Watch the video here.


It turns out, the “stomp-on-Jesus” professor, Poole, also has a prominent position in local politics. As BizPac Review reports, Poole is vice-chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.

Moreover, this isn’t the local party’s first brush with negative publicity.

The former chairman of the county Democratic Party was forced to resign in September after comments he made at the Democratic National Convention last year in Charlotte, N.C.

As WND reported, Mark Siegel reportedly told an interviewer Christians who support Israel want to see Jews “slaughtered.”

Siegel was quoted as saying, “Oh no, the Christians just want us to be there so we can all be slaughtered and converted and bring on the second coming of Jesus Christ.”

FAU apologizes:

Tom Tillison from BizPac Review reports:’

Public outrage over the controversial “Stomp Jesus” classroom assignment has forced Florida Atlantic University to issue an apology.

“We sincerely apologize for any offense this has caused,” the university said in a prepared statement to Fox News. “Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs.”

RELATED COLUMN: Dem official to students: ‘Stomp on Jesus’

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  1. […] step on it. The assignment angered FAU student Ryan Rotela, who complained to the administration. WDW – FL reported the following from Ryan Rotela’s response to the classroom […]