Protest at Florida Atlantic to Back Professor in 'Jesus' Controversy
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About 60 students and faculty members at Florida Atlantic University held a rally Tuesday to criticize the university for its handling of a complaint about an intercultural communications class in which the instructor, Deandre Poole, had students write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and asked them to step on it, The Palm Beach Post reported. Poole has been placed on leave, with the university citing threats against him. The university also said it would never permit the "Jesus" exercise to be done again -- even though many professors said that it is legitimate and has been unfairly portrayed. Those at the protest said that the university''s response endangered academic freedom by saying that the university would not back professors whose class statements or lessons offend anyone. The university issued a statement Tuesday saying that it "embraces open discourse across its campuses and values its public mission as a venue for free expression…. We will to work with the FAU faculty and staff to address sensitive and controversial subjects, while upholding freedom of expression. A university campus is the best place for discussions of differing opinions."