Student suspended for saying ‘bless you’ at school

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DYER COUNTY, Tenn. — A young girl, who claims she was standing up for her religious beliefs in the classroom, was suspended after breaking a class rule of saying “bless you” after a classmate sneezed.

When Dyer County High School senior Kendra Turner said bless you to her classmate, she says her teacher told her that 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,” said Turner.

Turner said when she defended her actions, she was told to see an administrator. She said she finished the class period in in-school suspension.

Students sent WMC a photo of the teacher’s white board that lists ‘bless you’ and other expressions that are banned as part of class rules.

It sparked discussion with Turner’s youth pastor Becky Winegardner last week at church.

“There were several students who were talking about this particular faculty member there that was very demeaning to them in regard to their faith,” Winegardner said.

Turner’s parents said the school leaders claim the outburst was a classroom distraction and that she shouted “bless you” across the room.

“This was something that had come up previously in the last few weeks just since the beginning of school and I shared with all of those students what their rights were,” added Winegardner.

Turner’s family met with school leaders Tuesday. They said the teacher claimed Turner was being disruptive and aggressive. Some classmates showed support Tuesday by wearing hand made bless you shirts.

Turner said she doesn’t want trouble for her teacher but said she’ll stand up for her faith.

“It’s alright to defend God and it’s our constitutional right because we have a freedom of religion and freedom of speech,” said Turner.


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  • The World is Ending

    Students just remember that you have no rights to free speech when you are at school, unless you agree with the liberal administration, and you also don’t have a right to defend yourself from an atack if some guy starts hitting you and you even push him away you will be the one in trouble and he will get of Scott free, and if you do nothing but just take it he will probably face minimal punishment, because with the liberal way telling him that he was wrong and a bad boy could hurt his self esteem, and if it is a common thing then actually disciplining the bully is considered a bad thing because the bully may get his feeling hurt.

    • it's time for a stand

      It’s time for the student body and their parents to take a stand against this kind of abuse. Against the schools and the government, indeed the world is ending but it can be prevented but we are a country of 300 million scared to do anything individuals.

  • tired worker

    I think it is time to start taking every school to task. Someone suspended or gave my child detention for saying bless you would be talking to my lawyer, as would the principal and the school board for violating my childs right to freedom of speech. And I would be very willing to state that any child wearing any clothes that represents a religion would be violating the same rules and if they are allowed in school and my child punished. It would be settled in a court.

  • Bobby Dias

    Real liberal intolerance: Barack Obama, now our president, once whipped every one of his fathers slaves until each said that he, Barack Obama, was their one and only god- except for two who were whipped to death, one was deaf so he did not know what to say and the other did not know what say because he did not understand Barack’s language.

  • Bradley

    Entirely disgusting. She was just trying to tell someone “sorry for your sneeze” or something like that and her ignorant teacher sent her to in-school suspension and suspended her? Why are school districts hiring people who got their teaching licenses from a back alley?