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Student Says She Was Suspended for Saying 'Bless You' to Sneezing Classmate

Posted by on Aug. 20, 2014 at 8:57 PM
  • 21 Replies

Student Says She Was Suspended for Saying 'Bless You' to Sneezing Classmate

by Ericka Sóuter

high school classroomI am all for the separation of church and state, especially when it comes to public school. With so many different religions within a community, it's not exactly fair to impose one specific set of beliefs on a diverse group of kids. So I understand why people get up in arms when a teacher teaches creationism. However, one Dyer, Tennessee, high school instructor may be taking the whole notion too far. A student was disciplined for saying "bless you" in class. Ridiculous, right? Wait until you hear their reasoning behind the punishment.

Kendra Turner explained that she said the courteous phrase to a classmate who sneezed. The teacher objected, telling the student she wouldn't tolerate "Godly speaking" in her class. Turner defended herself by asserting it was her constitutional First Amendment right and that earned her an in-school suspension.

The computer teacher allegedly said that phrases like that interfere with the flow of the class. (Whatever that means.) Other banned words include hang out, my bad, dumb, stupid, stuff.

A newly enrolled student at the school, Turner has been pleasantly surprised by all the support she has received from other students. Some have even worn T-shirts with the words "Bless You" emblazoned across them.

The school says that this entire situation has been blown out of proportion, but what a silly rule. In this day and age, a student should be praised for being polite, not picked on. Perhaps this teacher would be more grateful if she was thrown into one of the many failing, inner-city schools in New York or Detroit. Then she would see what it's like to deal with kids who interrupt the flow of her lesson.

Watch more about the story:

Dyer County Student Suspended (video here)

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Do you think this teacher was out of line or are her rules fair?

by on Aug. 20, 2014 at 8:57 PM
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Replies (1-10):
momofnatalie
by Bronze Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 9:23 PM

I think this rule is plain ridiculous.  I'm sorry but the student wasn't being disrespectful and I don't think the student should be punished for being polite.  This teacher sounds like one of those rigid teachers that has all these ridiculous rules.  When I was a school counselor, we had a few on staff and when they sent students out on a referral to me, I sometimes couldn't believe that they wasted a tree to write the student up. 

DanaG70
by Silver Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 9:28 PM

I'm going out right and say it... as an atheist, this has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard!

I say bless you myself, it's just automatic, it's either that, or gazuntite.  

ablackdolphin
by Bronze Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 9:39 PM

I saw this. Sounds like an instance where the teacher was a control freak and just wanted to create stupid rules to be controlling.

Really hope the teacher and everyone at the school board gets fired.  I think this is just crazy and I'm not even a religious person.

I say bless you without even thinking about it. It's almost a reaction I've been doing it for so long.

Another reason I'm glad we homeschool.

hugss
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by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 12:04 AM

::shaking head::
Wrong on the teacher's part for sure ..

melliburger
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 1:52 AM

wow... just wow.

SlightlyPerfect
by Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 6:58 AM
That's what we get when we use archaic, supernatural concepts in our modern culture. Saying "bless you," while seen as polite, is pretty nonsensical in actuality.

I totally side with the teacher's theoretical position, but how she executed all this was just ineffective and wrong. Silly? Yes. Punishable? No. I think she actually missed a teachable moment.
SlightlyPerfect
by Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 7:04 AM
But just because something is automatic doesn't mean it's immune from analysis. You say you're an atheist, so why would you actually say "bless you" after someone sneezes? Clearly you're not trying to keep demons away, and you can't realistically bless someone. So why say it?

A friend of mine pointed out this folly to me when I was about 25 years old. He had a sneezing fit, and I said "bless you," even though I was an atheist and so was he (still are), and from that day on, I never said it again.

I will say "gesundheit" if the situation is social and calls for a response, though. But that's rare.


Quoting DanaG70:

I'm going out right and say it... as an atheist, this has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard!

I say bless you myself, it's just automatic, it's either that, or gazuntite.  

wandep
by Bronze Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 7:12 AM
1 mom liked this

Ditto.

Quoting hugss:

::shaking head::Wrong on the teacher's part for sure ..


DanaG70
by Silver Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 7:20 AM

Does it matter why I say it? Really? I mean if I was just walking down the street and said it to my friend, would you, as a stranger not knowing if I was atheist tell me that I shouldn't be saying it? If my friend, who is a wiccan and knows that I'm atheist doesn't care, does it really matter?

Most people don't know I'm atheist, not even most of my family. To me, bless you, is just words, nothing else.

Quoting SlightlyPerfect: But just because something is automatic doesn't mean it's immune from analysis. You say you're an atheist, so why would you actually say "bless you" after someone sneezes? Clearly you're not trying to keep demons away, and you can't realistically bless someone. So why say it? A friend of mine pointed out this folly to me when I was about 25 years old. He had a sneezing fit, and I said "bless you," even though I was an atheist and so was he (still are), and from that day on, I never said it again. I will say "gesundheit" if the situation is social and calls for a response, though. But that's rare.
Quoting DanaG70:

I'm going out right and say it... as an atheist, this has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever heard!

I say bless you myself, it's just automatic, it's either that, or gazuntite.  


celestegood
by Gold Member on Aug. 21, 2014 at 7:22 AM
It's a polite automatic response to someone who has sneezed. I think its nice, but I never say God bless you, only bless you. It's just words.
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