Huh? Student reportedly suspended for saying ‘bless you’ to sneezing classmate

A high school senior was reportedly suspended after she said ‘bless you’ to a classmate who had sneezed. According to WMC-TV, Kendra Turner’s teacher at Dyer County High School had put the phrase ‘bless you’ on a list of banned terms at the beginning of the school year, and Turner defied the injunction when she responded to her classmate earlier this week.

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“Let’s not say it on the air. I don’t want to get in trouble with the FCC,” Stu joked on radio this morning.

“This is a direct quote,” Pat countered. “So I don’t think I can be held accountable for it. I’m just quoting what she said… This person said, quote, bless you, unquote.”

WMC received photos of the white board containing the banned phrases from some of Turner’s classmates. As you’ll notice ‘bless you’ makes the list along with words like ‘dumb,’ ‘boring,’ and ‘my bad.’

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 12.56.15 PMImage Source: WMC-TV

Turner’s parents say school officials have classified the incident as an outburst and their daughter’s use of the phrase was a distraction because she shouted it across the room. That didn’t stop students at Dyer County High School from showing their support of Turner by wearing handmade t-shirts with the words ‘bless you’ on them to school on Tuesday.

“Is that a joke,” Stu asked. “It sounds like a jokey list, and they actually suspended someone when they said ‘bless you’? They cannot be a real story. That is unbelievable.”

Watch the WMC report below:

Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee

  • fawnday

    The whole incident is odd. It sounds like a joke for the girl to be kicked out of class for saying what anyone says to someone who sneezes but in the news clip she doomed herself by talking about freedom of religion. Which begs the question of why on Earth about why anyone should talk about religion because of a generic responses all learned is polite to say to anyone who sneezes. Could it be she got kicked out because she is someone who is known to be an evangelical Christian? It’s wondered what response the teacher would have kids say to people who sneeze.

    • Allison Wanamaker

      she probably punishes children who sneeze for disrupting the lesson.

    • Suzanne Rice

      I’m assuming, no response. I’ve never said anything when someone sneezes, and most of the time, no one says anything to me when I sneeze.

      • Michael Doucet

        It’s a force of habit that I say Bless You when someone sneezes. I was raised that way and my dad is an atheist.

    • nam vet

      You can believe anything you want, but don’t dare say it near an atheist, or a school official.

  • James LaBarre

    But I’m certain it would be quite acceptable to say “f*** you”…

    • yourpaled

      Of course, it wasn’t on that list, was it?

  • Dennis Dunham

    Just more persecution of Christians in America. It is the forerunner of ISIS

    • STFUyouidiots

      Oh shut up please…. What have christians ever done but prosecute and judge, despite what the bible tells them. not to mention, you guys just bring the hate on yourelves

      • nam vet

        The word is “PERSECUTE” not prosecute. Who’s gonna listen to your KRAP now?

        • Allen C

          KRAP? Isn’t that a radio station in Colorado Springs?

      • Pocahontas

        I beg to differ. Looks like you just did a fair amount of judging and persecution yourself. How does your so called “Kind” words keep the hate down? You just hit him over the head with the “Bible” that you don’t seem to believe in, based on your comments. Just saying..

  • Connor Kenway

    If I knew where this school was I would get the biggest sound system I could park myself outside of this teacher’s classroom window and scream bless you! I mean really what ever happen to the First Amendment. It was not to protect atheist from hearing about God but speech. I mean come on atheist show us that tolerant side you claim to have.

    • dmprisk

      I looked it up and it’s in Tennessee.

  • bobjr4freedom

    That school needs their funds taken away for violating the First Amendment.Unbelievable.

    • mspatdev

      How true that is. I would have said the same thing in school. The next day I would have shown up with my friends with the words on tee shirts “bless you’. If I was the student, I would get an attorney really fast and demanded that bless you can be in school. The whole school would be in trouble as I did not loose my 1st amendment, FREEDOM OF RELIGION. I don’t give a hoot as to what obammy wants. Schools are so fussy with religion. I don’t have to take this crap and I wouldn’t.

      • BlueMN

        I doubt this is a religious issue. It’s “bless you” not “God bless you” or any other religious phrases or words. I suspect there is more to the story here and this is mostly click bait for GBS/Blaze and Faux News.

        • dlk

          The list of banned words and phrases was posted in the classroom and included “bless you”. The student probably got suspended because she argued with the teacher about it being a free country and that she had the right to free speech. Why is the teacher afraid of the words on that list?

  • Jeo Ten

    I am not into the whole “god” or “religion” thing and am a conservative, but this is ridiculous.

    • william C

      Apparently she did not even use the word God.

  • AJ

    Just one more act by the leftist education system proving that it has turned to communism.


    She should have instead said: “GOD Loves You!”

    • walkintruth

      They censored “bless you”. She should have said, “God bless you”.

      • nam vet

        Both punishable offenses.

        • walkintruth

          It is our right under the first amendment to have freedom of speech. No one can put a gag order on the words you speak. Our freedom cannot be taken from us. It can only be surrendered.

      • Michael Doucet

        If I were another student at that school when someone sneezed I would scream gazuntite just to be an a-hole.

  • mikec711

    So if she had said, “boring” (which is also on the list) … would she have been suspended? How about “stuff”. I hope that there is more to this. Otherwise I am losing that last little tiny smidgen of value I see in the public school system. I do give the public school system credit for one thing though … while the Catholic church apparently is dealing with as many as 88,000 cases of sexual abuse of children over the last 35 years … the public school system is dealing with 3.5 million as of the last 3 years. So at least they’re tops in one category.

  • walkintruth

    Talk about discrimination. I guess our public schools are being run by Satan and it offends him to hear, “bless you”. This is a first amendment right. I don’t want my children censored.

    • mspatdev

      obammy appointed Harry Knox to be his Advisory Counsel on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox is a militant homosexual activist who called Pope Benedict XVI and certain Catholic bishops “discredited leaders” because they opposed same-sex marriage. He castigated the Knights of Columbus as “foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression” for supporting California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiatvie to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. When challenged, he would not back down on his criticism of the pop, saying “the Pope needs to start telling the truth about condom use.” Knox even condemned the teachings of the apostle Paul as “not ture.” “Paul,” he said, “did not have any idea of the kind of love that I feel for a partner when I am partnered….The straight man, the heterosexual man, Paul, didn’t think it was natural because for him it must not have been.”

      Kevin Jennings is obammy’s “safe schools czar,”longtime homosexual activist. Jennings has a history of statement and associations that are troubling for anyone appointed to oversee the American educational system. As a young gay man he violently and blasphemously rejected his Christian upbringing. He condemened the “religious right” as hard-core bigots”. he was the advisory board for a PBS documentary that attacked the Boy Scouts of America for excluding homosexuals from membership. He has criticized church and into public schools.

  • Guest

    I know she was removed from class and sent to peincipals office. But not sure about suspended

  • OrionElectra

    Had she finished it with “Obama” she’d have been given special accolades!

    • Michael Doucet

      Seems like they’re trying to CHANGE it to Obama Bless You…

  • Its me, Bruce

    How about “Bite me, teacher”?

    • Michael Doucet

      Wasn’t on the board. You would be good.

  • Teresa DeBerardinis Huggins

    speech control in school…. interesting…

  • OrionElectra


  • Mike Barnes

    If this is true, there’s a huge rainmaker lawsuit in the making.

  • pathan232

    The teacher started the stupidity. However, the student kept on being mouthy, disrupting the class, so it’s right that she was kicked out.

  • Bluecardinal

    The girl made a mistake when she said, she didn’t want the teacher getting in to trouble. If people believe “bless you” shouldn’t be allowed to say, they should be seen and shown and stand up for they believe in and stop hiding like evil cowards. This is not being Christian to protect this teacher, it’s like protecting the weeds in your garden which is going to choke out all the beautiful flowers.

  • Steve Schaffer

    “God bless you” teacher, but this “stuff” is so “stupid”, “boring” and “dumb” that “I don’t know” how your students can stand to “hang out” with you. Did I break your rules? “My bad.”

  • Cliff Warren

    I don’t understand why parents don’t sue the living crap out of the school? If it were me, I’d give them about 10 million reasons to reconsider.

  • Michael Rice

    What a dumb, stupid list of stuff. I don’t know we can’t hang out and talk about all my bad habits and times when I have smoked and given into other peer pressures. One of which is saying bless you. I guess that would be boring, though.

  • Lee Shoemaker

    The heck with bless you,what about the rest of the list. The 1ST AMENDMENT BANNED IN SCHOOL. This is a stunt on the principles part who is most likely a Christian. I am an atheist and I am never offended when some one says bless you. The term is not even christian.

  • Barbara Pressey

    I have heard where students will fake sneezes and someone else will respond with “bless you.” Soon the whole class is faking sneezes and everyone is saying “bless you.” It is a ploy to disrupt learning. The student in question might not be a disrupter, but letting her get by with saying “bless you” opens the door to anyone else in the class. If you went into a library and shouted “bless you” every time someone coughed, sneezed or sniffled, the librarian would soon be on your case. I’m sure the teacher knows from experience what the trigger words are for disruption. I can’t believe the media doesn’t support the teacher in this.

    • Donutwarrior

      Maybe she shouldn’t post stupid lists like this and deal with individual disruptions firmly instead. I don’t get this desire to define every single rule, and then have stupid no tolerance policies. Can’t we just deal with things as they occur and not waste time laying out the laws/rules? Or do we just accept the lawyering up everywhere?

    • Jamie Dangerfield

      And I can not believe you are sticking up for the teacher that has said ” There will be no Church words spoken” Really?! Bless you is a polite thing to say when someone sneezes and you think the teacher is right…idiots do abound in your circle don’t they? Why is it okay to ban christian words, prayers and rights? Why!? If you don’t believe in GOD that is your right, but it does NOT give you the right to tell Christians they can not say Bless you when someone sneezes!

    • Eurosunshine

      They could fake sneeze and say something else so the problem is with fake sneezing and not the words “bless you.” Considering that almost all strangers say it when one sneezes, means it is almost a must and automatic reaction.

  • william C

    Idiots and intolerants are running our schools.

    • Matt T

      yea… Its called union labor

  • william C

    Okay. What we should do, every morning as long as we can remember to do it, post

  • william C

    Okay. What we should do, every morning as long as we can remember to do it, post GOD BLESS YOU as our first statement of the day, and even the last statement of the evening. I am starting tonight.

  • OrionElectra

    “Progressive” Liberals should all be forced to wear little, yellow felt ‘Ls” on their lapels when out in public, and eventually be rounded up onto trains, where they’ll be taken to special “fun camps” where they won’t be offended by religion, capitalism, and all men being treated equally instead of minorities being treated especially nicely. :)

  • fairtv

    Maybe this teacher needs a little coaching on what the First Amendment is.

  • OrionElectra

    Rabid atheists have a personality disorder anyway. Regular atheists are fine. I”m an agnostic myself. But rabid atheists are just making fools of themselves.

  • Irena M Varela

    “You are sooo good looking” …it is what Jerry proposed in a hostile social environment…remember “Seinfeld”?

    • Matt T


  • PineCrystal

    I’ve been a teacher in public school and worked a lot with young people. This case is ridiculous but I find it even scarier that a teacher apparently will never say “I don’t know”. Children need to learn how to learn and the first step is to say “I don’t know but I am going to find out.” Never saying “I don’t know” means you think you know everything or you just don’t care.

  • CommonSense4America

    If she were a southern girl, she could have said “bless your heart”. Would that have counted?

    • OrionElectra

      Liberals would have shat themselves over that as well. The “bless” infers (god forbid) GOD :)

  • Michael Keller

    For a system that supposedly “values and teaches” the freedom of speech this is rather illegal, but wait all the idiots out there don’t care for your free speech but only for their own.

  • C_Trip

    One of the banned sayings is “I don’t know”. This teacher is truly bad if this is true. What she is basically saying is, if you don’t know something you will be punished for saying so so just sit there and don’t ask questions.

  • Mainman12

    The students should then learn the words in another language such as German, “Gott segnen Sie” or “Gruess Gott” and maybe even write them on the black board.

  • Jeanne Miller

    That is nuts!


    Shut down public schools NOW!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joseph Chatfield

    What is next kids gonna get expelled for smiling

  • Lynne Holt Miller

    I’ll tell you what, I for one have had enough of this crap!! Excuse my expression, but if it were my child I would hire a Lawyer, and make a stink they would not soon forget, and I’m not one for lawsuits that are for nothing, but this stuff is getting crazy.

  • Yo Mamma

    I am so sick and tired of Christians shoving their religion down everyone’s throats in public schools. Seriously

    Go home school your fanatical religious bigot

    In any case, blessings are serious business. Who gave you the right to bless anyone? Yep, just another duty given to Priests in Torah, taken away by heathens

    Matt T wrote “it will never be the same again until America collapses into the dark hole.”

    Seriously Matt? a dark hole? Is that a scary place? And why don’t your prayers (payers) work? Do you obey the sacred texts in FRONT of your bible? Or is it just their as a war token of the religion you defeated? let me know when last you ate pork, for instance

    • Ralph Moore

      Bless you and your right to express your opinions

    • Redninjakoopa

      This is hardly “fanatical religious” bigotry, it’s a small phrase the girl probably said more out of instinct than anything. While yes real blessings are a big deal, the phrase in this use dates back to the black plague where, as said in a 2009 National Geographic, “Pope Gregory I ordered unceasing prayer for divine intercession. Part of his command was that anyone sneezing be blessed immediately (“God bless you”), since sneezing was often the first sign that someone was falling ill with the plague.” but since then has just become customary. The girl likely said it from habit rather than “shoving (her) religion down everyone’s throats”

    • ConservativeMe

      I was not aware that schools were making kids go to church, or forcing them to pray, or forcing anything. The most I recall religion being taught, if at all while growing up was in history class, because it was part of history.

      • Yo Mamma

        The Christian determination to convert is in every rat hole in the world. Expect what has been and more so as they dig their heals in against imaginary foes

      • Adam Jenson

        You just owned Yo Mamma like a boss.

    • Matt T

      Your screen name says it all lol

      • Yo Mamma

        Matt T wrote “it will never be the same again until America collapses into the dark hole.”

        Seriously Matt? a dark hole? Is that a scary place? And why don’t your prayers (payers) work? Do you obey the sacred texts in FRONT of your bible? Or is it just their as a war token of the religion you defeated? let me know when last you ate pork, for instance

        • Matt T

          I was referring to an economic dark hole. Not always and yea I am a big fan of bacon, pork ribs, chops and tenderloin.

          Yo Mamma… That is a name an 8th grader would come up with. Really shows your intelligence.

          • Yo Mamma

            So your gauge of intelligence is a screen name?

            MattT is a smart name for sure

            What screen name do you aspire to? An example of a super intelligent name, not just your average intelligence.

  • Kim Salmi

    Why does it seem the school systems everywhere are getting dumber on a daily basis ? God help my baby cousins when they enter it in a few years …hope they start fixing problems like this teachers idiotic list ( odd yes that curse words are not on it isn’t it)..sadly it’s times like this I’m glad I don’t have kids ,but I know if I did the school would be seeing me in court..that teacher needs to quit or be retrained

  • landofaahs

    The teacher needs a public caning.

  • nam vet

    Next time you witness a sneeze, say “bite me.” Would you be expelled?

  • Michael Doucet

    So you can not say bless you but I don’t see f*** you on the board which is what I would’ve told the teacher for suspending me for saying bless you.

  • 2 IT too

    Whenever we’re ready to put aside the
    TAVISTOCK mind control FAKE spectrum
    ———————chain–pulling ‘DISS—–traction’
    ———————————————————–‘medea’– – – — – –

    Whenever we’re REDDY to FACE that
    ————————–GLOBALIST —RED CHINA handover TREASON OP

  • Jeff Pigford

    I understand the premise, but I did hear that she yelled it out and disrupted the class. It was a in school suspension. I don’t think the rules are right, but when there are rules the only way to bring them to light is to, not only break them, but go out of your way to provoke a retaliatory response. I like you guys,but will be glad when Glenn gets back.

  • landofaahs

    Yet another example of the intolerant fascist left.

  • jim

    Lol !

  • Diane Clemens

    Wish they would  put God back in our Schools …. My Granddaughter had to go to public school last year… After pre K till The end of 1st grade she had attended American Christian School…she learned to read from the bible..  They had homework A scripture a day. Children were kind and compassionate. . 15 kids in the class…she was top of the class.. excellent grades and friendly outgoing.. very confident. . ONE year 2nd grade in a above average public school has changed this girl… by April she was told she could not mention God in school.. lunchroom teacher didn’t like that she prayed ( quietly to herself)… Christmas book report …   Choice of book connected to your holiday vacation. .

    FAILED.. reason– didn’t have anything to do with holiday… Her choice of book.. IN THE MANGER..BIRTH OF CHRIST

    She connect to two by saying our family worships the Birth of Christ on Christmas. ..which has always been special to her because she is our Christmas day baby… she believes she is special because God chose her to have the same birthday. …. 

    That was a teacher conference with guidance counselor. . Because my daughter question the grade.. it was odd coming from a straight A student. . Who tested 98 % the year before. . Would u want answers. . Plus was told that my Granddaughter was a bully.. believe me this girl is incapable of that.. she cries if she hurts a bug.. 

    After that the teacher was just defensive and would not deal with the issue. . Made a comment to thee whole class that it was against the law to talk for say anything about God …… 

    This of course confused her and trying to understand after class when to the teacher and said she understood she couldn’t talk about it.looking for a allie..   and asked her if she believed and how do you not mention him.. Her teacher just told her No I don’t believe. . Here we are beginning another year.. Please Lord let her get a compassionate teacher …Lord have a best friend waiting to meet her in her new class.. Lord give her back her self esteem. So she can see the good in all people and trust again. .

  • Brian W

    That isn’t the story. What happened was a teacher was giving an anti-religion lecture in class so the student stood up and interrupted it to argue back and that was when she said bless u, during her argument. So she got in school suspension for agrueing not the actual phrase bless u. Not saying the teacher was right to lecture against religion or that his list of rules are OK. But there is more to the story.

    • ConservativeMe

      So, basically a student cannot debate with a teacher, that’s even worse.

  • ConservativeMe

    Those are all banned phrases? I don’t know, seems rather boring and dumb and stuff. My bad, maybe we should just hang out. Bless you.

  • Yo Mamma

    The Christian determination to convert is in every rat hole in the
    world. Expect what has been and more so as they dig their heals in
    against imaginary foes……

  • Ryan Bidgood

    More proof that your country is dead, and no longer free.

    • Yo Mamma

      You are free to protest

      For now

  • Gary Smith

    Why is this idiot a teacher

    • Matt T

      Union labor

  • mattzweck

    sounds like this teacher is a idiot. bless all of you.

  • Kimberly

    this is true at other schools too, not only the “bless you” but my child got in trouble for the pre cursor , she sneezed and was told it was too loud and was sent to the office.

  • Mike Knowlton

    Can we agree that this tesacher is too dumb, stupid, and boring to be allowed in the classroom?

  • Christianna Bonk

    “God bless you” is a phrase that was, indeed, a wish of good health because sneezing is a symptom of illness. The phrase itself came from Pope Saint Gregory I, who ascended to the Papacy just in time for the Black Death, and who believed that devout prayer and supplication were a (if not the) answer. He declared that whenever someone sneezed, the lay-blessing should be the response.
    However, more ancient beliefs held that a sneeze was either the soul attempting to escape the body, or evil spirits attempting to enter, and blessing the sneezer would help keep his or her spirit out of the devil’s hands.

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