Teen Punished for Saying 'Bless You' in School: Report
School says Kendra Turner caused disruption
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 22, 2014 10:05 AM CDT
A screen shot from Fox News video featuring Turner.   (Fox News video)

(Newser) – A high school senior in Tennessee says she was placed in in-school suspension because she said "bless you" after a fellow student's sneeze. Kendra Turner tells WMCTV her teacher told her that "bless you" is language for church. "She said that we're not going to have godly speaking in her class, and that's when I said we have a constitutional right," Turner says. The phrase is one of several banned in the class, according to students; they sent WMCTV a photo showing a whiteboard listing of such phrases, which also include "stupid," "my bad," and "hang out," Fox News reports.

Since the incident, some kids have been wearing T-shirts saying "bless you" in support of Turner, WMCTV notes. Her parents met with school officials, who said Turner had caused a disruption because she shouted the phrase. "This was not a religious issue at all, but more of an issue the teacher felt was a distraction in her class," the school's assistant principal tells the Dyersburg State Gazette. He says such in-school suspensions happen regularly, and that Turner was back in class for the next period. "I think this has really been blown out of proportion on social media," he adds.

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Aug 26, 2014 7:52 AM CDT
That's ridiculous. I think that the teacher should be suspended for a while or maybe even fired for wasting airtime with this foolishness.
Aug 25, 2014 5:04 PM CDT
WTF? I'm an ATHEIST and I don't see a problem with this. It would be one thing if the school demanded students say "bless you", it's another when such a common, reflexive, response by one student to a sneeze is considered to be "violating the separation of church and state." You will find no greater champion of the Separation Clause than I. But to punish a child for being considerate is plain nuts. It's not a prayer. "Blessings" are NOT the exclusive provenance of religion. Out of 6 definitions offered by Dictionary.com, the first two and the last have NOTHING to do with spirituality. Crazy phuqqing world.
Aug 24, 2014 2:58 PM CDT
I believe we should let the kids have discussions about Christians ,Muslims ,Atheism and other beliefs etc .Let them figure it out its healthy and the real world they will have to face one day.If what you believe or don't believe can't be challenged then its not real.,