The Florida professor who made headlines nationwide for having students stomp on pieces of paper with the word “Jesus” written on them has been reinstated.
Florida Atlantic University announced Friday that Deandre Poole will return to teach summer classes and during the 2013-14 academic year. He will only teach online courses for now because of security concerns, The Palm Beach Post reported.
Poole, who has described himself as “very religious,” said he received hate mail and death threats in the wake of the controversy.
The school said it will reevaluate in December whether to place Poole back in the classroom.
“I’m ecstatic,” Poole told the Post. “After everything that’s gone on, I think online is ideal for the moment.”
Poole was put on administrative leave in March amid outrage over a lesson in which he had intercultural communications students write the word “Jesus” on pieces of paper and then step on them. Poole said he had used the exercise before as a means to discuss symbols, and taught it precisely according to an instructor’s manual.
The story went viral after one of Poole’s students came forward to news organizations about the lesson.
“I see how the name Jesus is symbolic,” Poole said in April. “For people like myself, Jesus is my lord and savior. It’s how I identify myself as a Christian.”