The Christian school that fired a teacher whose image appeared on a beer can broke its silence Tuesday.

Paul Roof said he was fired from his position as associate professor of sociology at Charleston Southern University after he put an image of his bearded face that was used on a Holy City Brewing beer can on his Facebook page.

"University policy prohibits the public discussion of personnel matters," CSU said in the statement Tuesday. "However, in relation to the matter involving Dr. Paul Roof, the University is compelled to provide a response, albeit limited by the aforementioned University policy."

The statement goes on to say that their actions toward Roof had nothing to do with his beard, the consumption of beer or his charitable work through the Holy City Beard & Mustache Society, which is sponsored by Holy City Brewing.

"First, it should be clear that the matter involving Dr. Roof is, in no way, premised upon the actual consumption of alcohol," the statement says. "Second, the matter has nothing to do with the presence of facial hair. Thirdly, charitable activities among faculty and staff are encouraged by the University."

The statement notes that reaction to the firing has been largely negative.

"While some comments in traditional and social media have included unflattering characterizations of the University - the reality is quite different. The University is committed to promoting academic excellence in a Christian environment. To achieve this aim, the University reaches out to the entire community, in all of its diversity."

Roof posted a brief response on his Facebook page Tuesday night.

"My only response is that I 'have been reaching out to the community in all of its diversity,' as well & all of you are testament to that," he said. "... Community is about helping each other in times of need. You have been here for me & I will be there for you."

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.