‘Stomp on Jesus’ professor reinstated by Florida university
Administrators at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) announced on Friday they have reinstated an instructor who ignited controversy earlier this year by telling students to write “Jesus” on a piece of paper and then stomp on it.
“I understand this decision may not be popular with all members of the community,” said FAU Interim Dean Heather Coltman in a statement. “But it was based on months of thorough research and consideration.”
The school had placed the instructor, Deandre Poole, on administrative leave in March fearing for his “safety.” The school said he had received multiple threats due to intense interest from the national media.
FAU administrators then hired a consultant to conduct an “external threat assessment” while deciding whether or not to renew his $43,000 contract.
On Friday, the school announced it would renew Poole’s contract for the 2013-14 school year, as well as award him $5,000 to teach a summer school course that began this week. One class he will be teaching is entitled “American Multicultural Discourse.”
However, because of concerns for his safety, Poole will only teach online classes for the time being.
In an interview last week with local ABC affiliate WPTV, Poole argued he had been misunderstood as he himself is a Christian.
“Is Jesus on a piece of paper, or is Jesus part of who you are?” Poole asked. “[I]f we are going to live peacefully in society then we have to be able create a setting where we can engage in those types of conversations.”
In March, Poole garnered national attention for an in class assignment that required students to write “Jesus” on a piece of paper and then throw it on the floor and stomp on it. FAU later issued an apology for the assignment and said it would not be used again.
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