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Petition statement to be delivered to Dr. Mary Jane Saunders, President, Florida Atlantic University and Frank T. Brogan, Chancellor, State University System of Florida

"Academic Freedom: Stop Targeting Dr Poole"

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"Academic Freedom: Stop Targeting Dr Poole"

To be delivered to Dr. Mary Jane Saunders, President, Florida Atlantic University and Frank T. Brogan, Chancellor, State University System of Florida

Petition Statement

I am writing in support of Dr. Deandre Poole. We urge you to hold fast against the demands of a vocal minority who want you to fire him from his position at Florida Atlantic University.

When a pastor and his congregation use demonstrations and online petitions to demand a university professor be fired because of a textbook exercise, they threaten our Constitutional freedom of religion. It reminds me of the extremes practiced by fundamentalist states elsewhere in the world. Americans are a free and diverse people. “Sacrilege” should not be grounds for firing in America.

Regardless of how I personally feel about the wisdom or suitability of the textbook exercise, I tell you it would be very unwise and very unsuitable for you to be influenced by this hate campaign. Have no doubt, if you give in, these individuals will continue to seek notoriety by putting pressure on FAU in the future.

Please stand firm in support of Dr. Poole, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech.
There are currently 565 signatures. NEW goal - We need 750 signatures!

Petition Background

Deandre Poole Ph.D. is a professor of communications at Florida Atlantic University in Davie and Boca Raton FL.

In February 2013 a student was disruptive and then complained to the University when Poole offfered an exercise from a textbook "Intercultural Comunications: A Contextual Approach."
In the exercise students wrote the name of Jesus on paper and then were asked to step on it. (The exercise had been used before without incident. When students refused to step on the name, it was a source of fruitful discussion.)

In March, after public criticism, the University apologized and said the exercise would not be used again. But a local pastor has called for a protest march and an online campaign to fire Dr Poole.

As Dr Poole's friends, we want to tell the University President and the Chancellor of the State University System of Florida that it would be dangerous to bend to such pressure. Please help us protect the separation of church and state, which protects us all.

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