Student sneezes. Girl says, “Bless you!” Girl suspended.

ISIS has its secularized counterparts in these USA.

From WSMV:

DYER COUNTY, TN –

(WMC) – 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 says when she defended her actions, she was told to see an administrator. She says she finished the class period in in-school suspension.

Students sent WMC Action News 5’s Michael Clark 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 that were talking about this particular faculty member there that was very demeaning to them in regard to their faith,” Winegardner said.

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

[…]

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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39 Responses to Student sneezes. Girl says, “Bless you!” Girl suspended.

  1. Jim Dorchak says:

    “Bless you” Fr. Z
    You know pretty soon you will be arrested for saying this in public in the former USA. You know like in a county council meeting, or at Burger King.
    Good thing I live in Chile now, a Catholic and free country where things like this are protected, still.

  2. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Usually it’s feminist frail flowers, but here we apparently have an atheist frail flower. I bet also she wraps up the piano legs and calls them “limbs.”

    The really sad thing is that all the kids didn’t respond by saying, “Bless you.” I have to say, I wasn’t a rebellious kid, but a free stay at home for doing nothing really wrong would have been nearly irresistible.

    Now, it’s possible that teacher was having a lot of kids say “Bless you” for antagonistic reasons, and this was the last straw. But in that case, the kids pwned that teacher and are living rent-free in her brain, and that’s what happens to a teacher who puts up rules that are stupid and easy to break. But if this was a first week of school thing, and the girl was the first to break the rule, the teacher is even more stupid.

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:

    This teacher is a piece of work. If you watch the TV report, she also banned “peer expressions,” which she apparently thought were bad English or something. Regulating your pet peeves, outside of writing assignments, is really futile.

    She also banned “I don’t know.”

    Seriously? How do you lift up your head as a teacher, if you don’t want to know when a kid doesn’t know something? Even if the kids in class were saying it in an annoying, lazy, I won’t bother way (and smirking while doing it), you don’t ban it.

  4. DisturbedMary says:

    Wait a minute. The student didn’t say “God bless you” she said “Bless you”. Is the word bless forbidden? The teacher’s reference to “godly speaking” is in her mind; and g**** speaking is surely a more blatent use of the g word than the student’s omission of G** from her post-sneeze wish. I think I get it now. What the student should have said is what we say on the subway when someone sneezes: “Cover your mouth *******”.

  5. New Sister says:

    A complete “GOD bless you” is better. [but one should not shout it across the room during class]

  6. JKnott says:

    Disturbed Mary , you have a good question. Is the word “bless” prohibited.
    The following is from a website of Franciscan sisters. They seem to think it is just super for Mother Earth, Father Sky, the four directions and children to bless things.

    What’s the problem? Maybe this teacher hasn’t been evangelized by these sisters of the earth yet.

    Blessing—Little Portion Green
    On Sunday, June 2, 2013 over 50 people assembled for the Blessing and Dedication of the completed Little Portion Green Strawbale House. Sister Jacquelyn Doepker welcomed everyone and Sister Jane Frances Omlor offered a reflection on the scope of the project and dedication and commitment of the donors and volunteers over the last 4 years. As the participants invoked the blessing of the four directions as well as Mother Earth and Father Sky, 13 children whose ancestors were from all over the world blessed the site. from http://tiffinfranciscans.org/

  7. Uxixu says:

    Every time I consider the new car or home improvements I could do with the money instead, I do consider it a blessing to send my kids go to the archdiocesan school. It has problems (Common Core!), but at least this isn’t one.

    They learn the most basic prayers in English and I teach them the Latin versions and excerpts from my breviary readings.

  8. Cantor says:

    So the students are not allowed to read aloud what the teacher has written on the white board? No wonder our reading rates are so abysmal.

  9. Cafea Fruor says:

    This kinda makes me want to go punch something, and I’m not a punching kind of woman. ARGH!

  10. xgenerationcatholic says:

    I wouldn’t be so quick to judge the teacher. Maybe her rules are stupid, but somebody sneezing is not an excuse to be disruptive. If she truly wants to show her Christian beliefs at school, she will be the best, most well-behaved student possible. This means following all the rules, including the stupid ones, provided they do not force her to sin. And refraining from “bless you” when somebody sneezes is not a sin.

  11. SaintJude6 says:

    xgenerationcatholic:
    So, in order to be a good student, she should just stuff that part of her that believes in God way down deep and not let any of it slip out? Why on earth would I want my child to blindly follow stupid rules and advance that teacher’s agenda? That’s the mentality of a sheep.

  12. APX says:

    This is why I switched to using Latin whenever someone sneezes.

  13. Broggi66 says:

    You are absolutely correct Uxixu. My children also go to Catholic school and, although it is a stretch financially, it is well worth it. When I read stories like these I feel so far removed from these issues as I do not have to worry that my children will be censored just because they are Christian. Christmas is still Christmas, Easter is still Easter and God Bless You is still God Bless You!

  14. David Zampino says:

    It seems to me that the teacher has some issues. And Tennessee is “Bible Belt”. And the student is a senior.

    I’ll bet that the school backs down.

  15. vox borealis says:

    That such rules is of course absurd, if not disturbing. That said, unless the suspended student is an adult, I’m not sure she has the “constitutional right” to say much of anything, least of all in a school (i.e., where students…children…have forever and always had their individual freedoms limited, their behavior controlled, and for good reason).

    Now, it *should* be ridiculed that the teacher has a list of forbidden words and phrases on the blackboard.

  16. Scott W. says:

    While I am perfectly disposed to believe that we are at the point where suspensions of “Bless you.” are possible at which point I would hit the rhetorical nuke launch button, this story makes me suspicious that there is more to it.

  17. Scott W. says:

    This is why I switched to using Latin whenever someone sneezes.

    I’m not a Latin expert, but would that be, benedicat tibi?

  18. Sofia Guerra says:

    Nazis – Controlling, speech, thought EVERYTHING. Trying to make brown shirts out of our children. Sad, but true.

  19. Jerry says:

    re: xgenerationcatholic – “Maybe her rules are stupid, but somebody sneezing is not an excuse to be disruptive. If she truly wants to show her Christian beliefs at school, she will be the best, most well-behaved student possible.”

    It is possible the student responded with “Bless you” reflexively, but in that case she should have apologized when challenged.

    re: SaintJude6 – “So, in order to be a good student, she should just stuff that part of her that believes in God way down deep and not let any of it slip out? Why on earth would I want my child to blindly follow stupid rules and advance that teacher’s agenda? That’s the mentality of a sheep.”

    We shouldn’t sit back and accept rules such as this, but the proper method to challenge them is not to disobey or disrespect authority. Disobedience is a sin: the end does not justify the means. The proper approach would be for the student and/or her parents to formally express their concerns to the teacher (outside the classroom setting), and if they are not addressed satisfactorily to escalate them to the principal, school board, etc.

    The commandment to obey authority is the first of the seven that apply to our fellow man, a reflection of its importance: look at the result of a single act of disobedience by Adam. One might also recall Jesus affirmed St. Faustina when she did not do as He had requested of her in obedience to her superior.

    St. Faustina: The Importance of Obedience:

    “By obedience you give great glory to Me and gain merit for yourself”. (28)
    “My daughter, know that you give Me greater glory by a single act of obedience than by long prayers and mortifications.” (894)

  20. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Obedience to lawful superiors is important, but you’re not obliged by obedience to disclaim allegiance to your parents or your God.

    You’re also not obliged to never say “I don’t know.”

  21. Jerry says:

    re: Suburbanbanshee – “you’re not obliged by obedience to disclaim allegiance to your parents or your God.”

    Nor to commit a sin. But none of these are the relevant to the situation being discussed, so I’m not sure what the point of introducing this straw man is.

    “You’re also not obliged to never say “I don’t know.””

    I suspect there may be more to the story on this point. Perhaps the teacher was tired of hearing IDK as a lazy cop-out and had instructed the students to at least think of a different way to express the same information.

  22. SaintJude6 says:

    So, once again, why are Christians continuing to send their children to these government schools?

  23. gjp says:

    Public schools (i.e. compulsory schooling) in the United States were essentially created by nanny-state mainline Protestants as a way to rip Catholic children from their parents and then indoctrinate them (aka “save them”) and to destroy and replace the Catholic education system. Catholics fought back and maintained the right to educate their children in the schools of their own choice.

    Based on that, I don’t see why Catholics would trust having their children in public schools, period.

    The fact that these schools are now used to indoctrinate children with atheist statism as opposed to Protestantism doesn’t change what their intended purpose is, or was. It simply changes the subject matter.

  24. vetusta ecclesia says:

    The utter nonsense on that Tiffen site is really worrying.

  25. DetJohn says:

    My, it was bad to dump a student for a bless you; the stupid teacher needs to hang out at the local unemployment office.

    I’m office to the principal’s office.

  26. TNCath says:

    As a high school teacher, permit me to play “Devil’s Advocate” in this situation.

    I too will not allow my students to say “Bless you” or “God bless you” when someone sneezes in class. This is because whenever it happens, the students feel free to blurt it as loudly as possible whenever someone sneezes. This causes more of a disturbance than the sneeze itself. Anyone who has ever been in a classroom in the last 10 years in a public school would understand this.

    The first week of school I tell my students that blurting anything out during class time without raising their hands is unacceptable, including “God bless you,” or “Bless you” when someone sneezes. I also tell them that my classroom is already blessed, which is very true. I have a small supply of holy water which I sprinkle in the classroom before each school year.

    While I can understand people’s puzzlement as to why this is such an issue, as a Catholic and a public school teacher, I also understand why the teacher has banned such an outburst in the classroom.

  27. VexillaRegis says:

    Scott W says: I’m not a Latin expert, but would that be, benedicat tibi?

    Just say “Prosit!”

  28. xgenerationcatholic says:

    Was anyone who was around in the pre-1960s or so remember if the nuns who taught in the Catholic school days of yore would have permitted any kind of outburst in class, bless you or otherwise?

  29. Sonshine135 says:

    I think the issue here is that, like Ferguson, we don’t know all of the facts. I have taught Catholic students in their faith who used a sneeze or cough or other bodily noise to be disruptive in class. I agree, we should not be too terribly harsh at judging this teacher until all the facts are known. My feeling is that she is overly authoritarian with her class though. Banning expressions in a class is contrary to classical liberal education- which should encourage open dialogue and broadminded discussions over any and all topics. If you ban expressions, you are already showing that you don’t care to educate utilizing dialogue, rather you are trying to push an agenda with an overt monologue that includes only your own views and opinions. That is very much in-line with modernist, authoritarian methods of indoctrination.

    The moral of this story is simple: Send your kids to Catholic Schools, and when you can no longer do this; educate them at home. When you can no longer do that; move somewhere where you can.

  30. Imrahil says:

    Dear TNCath,

    I understand what you say, and it’s not against the Faith.

    That said, in my opinion, I do not think that throwing the baby out with the bathwater by repressing, even for good cause, usual expressions of courtesy. Or, yes, even disturbances in class, such as spontaneously talking without being called-for when suddenly discovering the answer to a question, etc. Surely a teacher must keep order in the class-room, but I do not perceive any possible set of rules that can manage that by strict compliance alone, without turning the students into recruits*; and even such rules are can be given, such as not to talk before being called, are small-rules, not commandments of morality, and thus to be followed and enforced yes, but they are usually and healthily, and should be, followed and enforced with a certain leeway…

    [*This sort of thing is sometimes done, and I guess rightly, as a hopefully temporary punishment for a class that does not behave and thus cannot be brought into order in any other way. What I do say is that this is by no means situation to be considered normal.]

    Thus: here the teacher’s personality, and his skill in what my people calls fingertip-feelings (rendered as “tact” by the dictionary, but I guess something very slightly different), must do the job.

  31. Ben Kenobi says:

    “This causes more of a disturbance than the sneeze itself. Anyone who has ever been in a classroom in the last 10 years in a public school would understand this.”

    Ma’am, I’ve been in a classroom and I teach in one. I would commend the student for being courteous, etc. Is your lesson plan so tight that you can’t take 30 seconds for the sneeze?

  32. TNCath says:

    Sonshine135 said, “Banning expressions in a class is contrary to classical liberal education- which should encourage open dialogue and broadminded discussions over any and all topics. If you ban expressions, you are already showing that you don’t care to educate utilizing dialogue, rather you are trying to push an agenda with an overt monologue that includes only your own views and opinions. That is very much in-line with modernist, authoritarian methods of indoctrination.”

    If you heard the expressions I hear in my school all day, every day, I think you might rethink this position. In my school we need “authoritarian methods of indoctrination” because our school is a cultural disaster. I run what most people today would call an authoritarian classroom. Twenty-five years ago we simply called it running a good classroom where students actually learn something. If one does not do this, the old adage applies: “Make plans for your students, or they will be making plans for you.”

  33. TNCath says:

    Ben Kenobi: When a student ( or a chorus of students) yells across the room “God bless you” when someone sneezes, and that “God bless you” is louder than the sneeze itself, that isn’t courteous, and I can assure you that you wouldn’t commend the student(s) for it. It’s a blatant, premeditated disruption. As for the “tightness” of my lesson plans, no indeed. I can handle the sneeze. I just don’t need 20 “God bless you’s” behind them. I went to Catholic schools all my life and the priests, religious sisters, and religious brothers who taught me would never have allowed such a thing in their classrooms. In fact, I still use the Signal (a clicker-type device) developed by the Founder of the Christian Brothers, St. John Baptist De La Salle, to keep correction of students using a minimum of speaking, with my public school students. My students love it.

  34. TNCath says:

    Ben Kenobi: When a student ( or a chorus of students) yells across the room “God bless you” when someone sneezes, and that “God bless you” is louder than the sneeze itself, that isn’t courteous, and I can assure you that you wouldn’t commend the student(s) for it. It’s a blatant, premeditated disruption. As for the “tightness” of my lesson plans, no indeed. I can handle the sneeze. I just don’t need 20 “God bless you’s” behind them. I went to Catholic schools all my life and the priests, religious sisters, and religious brothers who taught me would never have allowed such a thing in their classrooms. In fact, I still use the Signal (a clicker-type device) developed by the Founder of the Christian Brothers, St. John Baptist De La Salle, to keep correction of students using a minimum of speaking, with my public school students. My students love it.

  35. Chon says:

    xgenerationcatholic: No!!!! The sisters would never tolerate an outburst in the classroom. It was unthinkable. It would never have crossed our minds to do such a thing. I went to Catholic schools in Oregon, Indiana, and Maryland, and it was the same in all of them. My first grade classroom had 50 pupils, one teacher, no aides, and you could hear a pin drop. And we were all on task.

    We didn’t even dare talk when “Sister” left the classroom to talk to someone in the hall (which happened rarely). Sister could hear through the door, apparently. If a student talked, Sister would knock on the window with her ring, and the offender would quiet down immediately.

  36. VexillaRegis says:

    TNCath is right. Pupils can be a real nuissance and they will use every oppurtunity to disrupt the class if you give them the slightest chance.
    However, I remember being berated by one teacher for sneezing too many times and too loudly! She had never heard of allergies, apparently. Well, she was somewhat stupid – she thought Mao Tse Dong was a great leader. Say no more.

  37. Benjamin says:

    Re @Scott W.: it would be Conducat sanitati!

  38. Reconverted Idiot says:

    If the girl is from a protestant sect the easiest way for a teacher sincerely looking to avoid distractions (and not simply inventing some new intolerance in the name of tolerance), and to get her to stop using the term altogether is probably, to remind her that it originated with Pope Gregory the Great. Jehovah’s Witnesses and a few other ‘hardline’ cultic sects generally avoid the term altogether, as also saying “cheers” and raising glasses, due to their origins in superstitions of the past.

  39. Marissa says:

    In fact, I still use the Signal (a clicker-type device) developed by the Founder of the Christian Brothers, St. John Baptist De La Salle, to keep correction of students using a minimum of speaking, with my public school students. My students love it.

    LOL, I use one of those to train my dog! Needless to say, articles and comments like this are the reason I’m homeschooling.