Public schools

Teen Girl Suspended for Saying 'Bless You' After Classmate Sneezed


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Not to be outdone by Summerville High School in South Carolina—where writing about shooting dinosaurs can get you arrested—Dyer County High School in Tennessee has suspended a teenage girl for saying "bless you" after a classmate sneezed.

That's according to the girl's account of events, reports CBS Charlotte:

Kendra Turner, a senior at Dyer County High School, said bless you to her classmate who sneezed and the teacher told her that the term was 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 told WMC.

When she defended her actions, the teacher told Turner to see an administrator. The student said that she had to finish the class period in in-school suspension.

The girl's parents were told by school leaders that their daughter shouted "bless you" across the room and that it was a classroom distraction.

School officials told her parents Tuesday that the teacher claimed that their daughter was aggressive and disruptive.

If she was truly aggressive and disruptive, I suppose that's grounds for suspension. Maybe the girl was looking for a showdown, and knew this was the best way to get one.

But given all the nonsensical excuses school administrators find to hand out suspensions, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the officials are the ones exaggerating matters.

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  1. “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 told WMC.

    Good for you Ms. Turner.

    1. Well, as the article infers, there’s clearly some backstory and tension build up. You usually don’t play the FIRST AMENDMENT! card the first time a teacher jumps down your throat. This had been building.

      Not excusing the charge. Total BS. But it certain seems that the school has an intolerant militant secularist teacher who got under the skin of the wrong kid.

  2. We’re about to the point where we need teachers to wear body cameras, too.

  3. If she was truly aggressive and disruptive, I suppose that’s grounds for suspension. Maybe the girl was looking for a showdown, and knew this was the best way to get one.

    “aggressive and disruptive” = exercising one’s rights; disagreeing with authority; grounds for execution.

    1. Yeah, if a kid is being disruptive, ruining the education of other students, they should be free to do so. To hell with all the kids who actually try to do well in class.

      Come on, buddy. This isn’t about free speech, it’s about a disruptive student.

  4. She’s a high school senior and she didn’t learn by now that the Constitution and common sense don’t apply to the classroom?

  5. Who gives a fuck if it was a showdown challenge? The school when they accepted the challenge and decided to pursue action over a trivial problem, if it was really a problem at all. But hey, maybe they girl wouldn’t have been a problem at all if she wasn’t forced by law to attend that public indoctrination center.

  6. I assume the school system still gets paid for attendance if the kid is suspended.

    Perhaps this is how the lazy public school employees manage to get paid while reducing their workloads.

  7. Problem was she said it in english. Say it in arabic — “Alhamdulillah” — and see if the teacher flinches.

    1. Why would that be a problem? You do know what “???????” means, right? You do realize there is an Arabic expression that is used when someone sneezes, right? In fact, there is more than one. Although I’m sure you just thought you were making a clever point. Unfortunately, you weren’t.

  8. “”She said that we’re not going to have godly speaking in her class”

    Sorry, I don’t believe that.

    1. From the article:

      WMC reported that there are other expressions that are banned as part of class rules and they are listed on the teacher’s white board along with “bless you.”

      So it really isn’t much of a stretch that the teacher might say that.

    2. Sorry, I don’t believe that.


  9. We used to shout “facio” at each other in Latin class. Miss Sterling would just say “that’s right, facio”.

  10. Bo was right! There’s a CHRISTIAN AGENDA TO TAKE OVER SCHOOLS!

    1. And Gilmore says this as a quasi-Cosmotarian

      1. Because I am regularly quoting scripture and insisting upon our nation’s christian heritage


        1. What a Reason lacks is a serious discussion about religion on government instead of repeating a slogan like separation of church and state, right Gilmore?

          1. Were you planning on saying something coherent, or is that the best you’ve got?

            1. I like a fellow whose smug while not realizing he’s being mocked

              1. I’m guessing you need a hint, so recall your concern trolling comments on Reason’s foriegn policy articles, and hopefully the rest will be within your grasp

                1. oh, you were really clever *somewhere else*, and we all missed it.

                  yeah, that happened.

                  Get a life, bo

    2. Well, to be fair, I’m sure there is somewhere such an agenda. It’s just not very successful.

  11. I suspect that the girl knew just how to push the teacher’s buttons. Some people really lack the emotional temperament to be teachers.

    When I was going through Nuke Power School in the Navy, we had a betting pool where each person picked a number between 1 and 50. If the clock’s minute hand was pointing at your number for our EE instructor’s first swearing fit, you got the pot. Two of our classmates were forbidden from participating.

    It was comical watching people go from soothing to difficult as the clock approached their minute.

    The winner had number 14, IIRC. The winner asked a question that implied he hadn’t understood anything the instructor had been talking about the last 14 minutes, and the instructor lost it. I still remember the beginning: “You could put a fucking elephant in that circuit and you still won’t get a voltage greater than 10V! How the hell can you not see that! etc”

    Our instructor would later be given a letter of instruction about his attitude to go along with his letter of commendation for stopping someone from committing suicide.

    Fun times!

    1. Serves you right for joining the Navy, tarran.

      1. Never Again Volunteer Yourself! 😉

      2. He couldn’t help himself. It was the promise of all that rum, sodomy and the lash.

        1. I prefer Mexicans, pot and ass-sex.

    2. My guess is that this teacher is a complete petty bitch who no doubt did say “don’t say bless you” and this girl, being a teenager, pushed her buttons by saying it loudly and often until the teacher finally snapped.

      The better question is who exactly is the adult here because it sure as hell isn’t the teacher.

    3. I suspect that the girl knew just how to push the teacher’s buttons. Some people really lack the emotional temperament to be teachers.

      ^^ THIS

  12. Would it be sexual harassment for saying, “You’re so good looking.”?


    1. Only if you have your dick out at the time.

  13. Oh, good god. Who even really means anything “godly” when they say “bless you”. Not that it would be OK to forbid people to say it if it was God talk.

  14. I mentioned earlier how during a air-traffic crisis @ Atlanta airport, i was threatened by a TSA/Airport Cop (forget which) that my “Blaspheming” was grounds for arrest.

    I believe my statement was, “Jesus, this place is a goddamn clusterfuck”

    I stand by my statement, and believe that Jesus would concur with me. Atlanta Airport is a Clusterfuck of the Damned

  15. Other words we should forbid in school:


  16. we’re not going to have godly speaking in her class

    Who was the idiot who gave Shrike a teaching gig?

    1. The government.

  17. You have GOT to be kidding me. What happened to FREEDOM of speech and expression. Hope they riot and burn the place down!

    1. Are you dense? Like, does your brain have the ability to think and reason? You are on, so use some of it.

      This isn’t about free speech, it’s about a disruptive student. Teachers often remove kids from class for distracting the other students. You can’t be loud and obnoxious in a class and expect the first amendment to protect you.

      And why is everyone assuming what this student said was true? Kids, and teachers, are liars on a regular basis. There isn’t any evidence to suggest any of this story is true.

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