No doubt he’s got plenty of time for interviews now that, after a deluge of death threats, his university has decided to place him on leave.

The mid-March kerfuffle at Florida Atlantic University happened when the instructor, Dr. Deandre Poole, who taught an intercultural communications class, asked his students to write the word Jesus on a sheet of paper and then step on it. One Mormon student refused and was suspended by the university. Soon, outside protests came pouring in, including a scathing letter from Florida’s Republican governor Rick Scott. The school then apologized for both the disciplinary action and the professor’s exercise.

So far, we’ve had little but the student’s version of events to go on, but now Poole (photo) has told his side of the story to Inside Higher Ed.

And what do we learn?

• Far from being a Jesus-mocking heathen, Poole is a lifelong church-going Christian and former Sunday-school teacher who describes himself as “very religious.”

• The student exercise, Poole says, involved stepping (not “stomping,” as Fox News and others alleged) on the sheet of paper.

• The exercise was meant to demonstrate that some students would feel inhibited about stepping on something that 15 seconds earlier had been a random, insignificant piece of paper. This would give everyone an opening to discuss symbols and their meaning.