Gates County Schools delayed 1 hour due to fog

Student suspended for saying ‘bless you’ at school after classmate sneezed

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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.

Source: WMC/CNN


  • Cliftonh

    Good for her. To stand for god. God going to bless you. Satan is trying to take god name out of school. You can’t take god out of your heart. World today right is and wrong is right. Acknowledged him in all your ways. He shall directed your path.

  • Trey

    Good for her. Separation between church and state (aka the public school system) should be upheld. But what the school doesn’t understand is that the students are not part of the state. They have individual god given rights protected under the Constitution of the United States. Just because you walk in a building doesn’t mean you lose your Constitutional Rights.

  • Ahem....

    Passing over any religious connotations-saying “Bless you” when someone sneezes is simply good manners in our culture. The teacher must have been born in barn!

    • Ahem....

      Oops-“born in A barn.” Guess I need to go back to school-but I’ll choose one that allows me to act like a mannerly human being.

  • Julia

    Wow. I’m an Atheist and even I think this is stupid. It’s also a violation of the student’s First Amendment rights. This teacher is an extremist and needs to be taken down a notch by the school administration.

  • J Walsh

    Lets first look at the literal, if the quote is accurate , and this is where I got my facts. I draw my own conclusion, but Ms. Turner said Bless you. I did not see a reference in God bless you. Blessing someone after they sneeze is common in everyday life however by leaving the reference to God off one can only conclude that Ms. Turner herself was blessing her classmate. To say she was preaching God is only a guess at best. An assumption by anyone saying anthing other than what she said.

    • StormBlessed

      You IDIOT. This has nothing to do with God blessing her. This has everything to do with her rights being violated. And you are obviously intolerant of the beliefs of others, which puts you in the same category as the IDIOT teacher. Get a clue buddy.

  • Elaine Wilkerson

    This was terrible. I don’t know what this world is coming too. I thought it was o.k. to say this after someone sneezes. Some people are ridiculous.

  • JCB

    That’s right even now i’m brewing up the perfect potion to get all of you god loving people. Fear me, for I live in my mother’s basement!

  • joe

    if this is true..this has to be the most ridiculous example of misplaced energy… I would’ve been suspended as well because my response would’ve been; ‘ I’m sorry, but can you prove that my classmate did not just sneeze her soul from her body and that my simple response of ‘bless you’ did not force the demons in the room to pause long enough for her soul to safely re-enter her body unaccompanied by said demons attempting to possess my classmate.? If not, then I would prefer a simple ‘thank you’ and renewed focus on our studies. – good day

  • Patricia Smith

    We should all praise God for this young woman’s courage and strong belief in her faith. She’s done what this world full of adults should have done already many times over. Where is the courage of Americans, true Americans that live in what was once the greatest country on earth. We were a blessed nation that lived by the word of God, that stood for what our forefathers believed in and fought and died for. Thank you young lady for what you’re doing, don’t give up, don’t let the enemy pull you down. The Word of God tells us, “When I would do good, evil is always present”. I’m praying for you and I’m proud of you.

  • Patricia Smith

    Patricia here again——- FYI — I read somewhere that the phrase is “God blessed ( past tense) you”, the reason it was said that way was because your heart stops when you sneeze and since only God can give or take life, He blessed you in letting your heart continue to beat.

    • Rev. Phillip Harman

      no its because your soul flies out of your body when you sneeze, when you bless someome after that it just draws the soul back. the act of blessing someone makes that place the holiest and best place for a soul all round. you want to confuse it you can bless a whole bunch of people at the same time, and see what happens.

      • Brian

        the term God Bless you originated in the Dark Ages because people then believed that a sneeze was the body’s way of expelling demonic presence.

  • Brian

    I want to know who in todays society connects that term with church. TO me that term is more of a subconsious response due to hearing our entire lives.

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