The Stomp Jesus Professor is on Leave

Professor Deandre Poole is the teacher at Florida Atlantic University who asked students to write "Jesus" on a piece of paper and then stomp on it. One student refused to comply with the assignment and complained.

The school at first planned to punish the student but once the complaints reached the media the staff at FAU reversed course. Academic charges against the student were dropped and Professor Poole was put on leave. The school issued a statement on Friday:

FAU instructor Deandre Poole, Ph.D., has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately for safety reasons. As a result of the reaction to a recent exercise in Dr. Poole’s intercultural communications class, the instructor’s personal safety has been compromised.

In addition, this decision will prevent further disruption to the day-to-day operations of Florida Atlantic University.

Because of this, Dr. Poole will not teach any classes, conduct office hours, or be present at any of FAU’s campuses or sites. Alternate instructors have been assigned to teach Dr. Poole’s classes. Students have been notified and classes will continue as scheduled.

By suggesting that Poole is on leave for his own safety, the school manages to get rid of him while simultaneously making him the victim. It's also worth noting that in addition to teaching at FAU, Poole is "vice chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party."

No one has explained what the purpose of the stomping exercise was intended to be. If it was intended as an object lesson on offending cultural sensibilities it seems rather narrowly tailored. Only one student, a Mormon, complained. What lesson did the rest of the class take, if any? Ace wrote an excellent post about which groups are inevitably the target of these cultural lessons and which ones are not.


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