University Issues Apology for ‘Jesus Stomping’ Classroom Activity


Florida Atlantic University officials formally apologised Friday after a junior, Ryan Rotela, was punished and suspended for refusing to stomp on a piece of paper bearing the word 'Jesus' in his intercultural communications class, early March.

The classroom activity was part of a recommended exercise in the classroom textbook, 'Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach.'

 The University released a statement saying:

"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."

 "We sincerely apologize for any offense this has caused. Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs."

The university has also decided to discontinue the stomping exercise in the classrooms.

 Rotela, a Mormon, said that his lecturer, Dr.Deandre Poole, asked them to write the word 'Jesus' on a piece of paper, put the paper on the floor and stomp on it. However, he took the paper and put it right back on the table.

He approached Poole's supervisor two days later to explain his concerns but instead was issued a suspension from the class.

"Anytime you stomp on something it shows that you believe that something has no value," Rotela said. "So, if you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value."

Initially, when many of the students expressed their anger over the assignment and Rotela's suspension, the university officials defended the teacher by saying that he was simply following the instructor's manual.

Noemi Marin, the university's director of the school of communication and multimedia studies, told Fox News that this exercise was meant to teach students to think about an issue from different perspectives and educational institutions are a platform to encourage debates and discussions on sensitive topics.

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