Deandre Poole, a professor at Florida Atlantic University and vice chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, is facing criticism for having his students stomp on the word “Jesus.” One student claims he was even suspended from class for objecting to the exercise that was meant to be a lesson on symbols.

Ryan Rotela is a Mormon student who

refused to stomp on the paper. When he went to school officials, he claims he was instead barred from class.

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FAU originally came to the defense of the lesson. Poole was reportedly following a lesson plan from a textbook which read, “When you ask the kids to stomp on Jesus, most will hesitate. Ask them why they can’t stomp on the paper and then discuss the importance of symbols in our culture.”

Rotela said in an interview, “If you were to stomp on the word Jesus, it says that the word has no value.” He added, “I’m not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated.”

The university has now apologized in a statement: “We sincerely apologize for any offense this has caused. Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs.”

It was meant to be an exercise in symbolism, but what about religious freedom? Check out former Gov. Mike Huckabee's take on this story:

Student Ryan Rotela speaks out:

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