Student says she was suspended for saying ‘bless you’ when a classmate sneezed

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DYER COUNTY, Tenn. (WCN) -- A young girl in Tennessee says she was suspended after breaking a class rule by saying “bless you” after a classmate sneezed.

When Dyer County High School senior Kendra Turner recited the courtesy, she said her teacher told her that was for church.

Turner feels her teacher was taking issue with her religion and when she stood up for herself, the teen said she was told to go to the administrator’s office. She was later placed on an in-school suspension for the rest of the class period.

Turner’s pastor said students just last week talked about how to stand up for their faith.

"There were several students that were talking about this particular faculty member there that was very demeaning to them in regards to their faith," Rev. Becky Winegardner said.

A student sent WMC Action News 5 a picture showing a list of words the student claims the teacher in question does not allow in the classroom. “Bless you” is on the list.

Turner’s parents said the school leaders claim the outburst was a classroom distraction and that turned shouted the phrase across the room.

WMC Action News 5 was told that only Dyer County School superintendent Dwight Hedge could comment on the allegations. He did not return phone messages, an email or a knock at his door.


  • nightgrave

    I am glad that she got in trouble for saying bless you in a public school. I would make her do a five page report why you do not say bless you in a public school. HAIL to the teacher. She should get teacher of the year reward. If the little girl say it again in school she should be kicked out of school. The girl should keep that stuff at home or in church.

      • Victoria

        U said it maybe they should go to Iraq n be with Isis the group who killed James Wright Foley if they think saying bless u is hurting people

    • So what

      My goodness what world do we live in? I wonder if thank you is banned. It comes right after bless you. Oh and by the way may The Lord bless you always.

    • Victoria

      Do u hear yourself u want a girl 2 be kicked out 4 being a human being n even if she’s a Christian what does it have 2 do with saying bless u to someone after Sneezing it has nothing 2 do with trying preach 2 someone it’s called having common courtesy 2 others the teacher was wrong n ur wrong u fucking asshole

  • Judge Judy

    That girl had every RIGHT to say bless you. Shes not hurting anyone. If the teacher had such a problem with it maybe she shouldve left the classroom. Freedom of speech goes both ways. Keep your atheistic hatred at home.

    • Aster Nova

      Hmm I wonder what you would say if a teacher decided to lead a prayer or invite students to her church. I have a feeling your opinion changes based on if it’s the group you agree with or not. Let’s keep all religion at home and teach our children that there is a time and a place for protest. I guarentee the child is in trouble for being disrespectful not for saying god bless.

      • Heinz

        The teacher is already pushing his or her religion on the entire class … a religion called atheism. It is a faith just like every other faith, and the teacher is forcing it on all the students in the class by enforcing rules specific to that belief while excluding other beliefs. Funny how it is offensive only if it is Christianity in question. I don’t see Insha’Allah on that whiteboard list of forbidden words.

  • Bobby Woodlawn

    I love when the teller at the bank or the girl at any given store says ‘have a blessed day.’ If you believe in it – great. If you don’t – it should me nothing to you. Why would you care? Stop looking to be offended and just lead your life.
    As for not bringing religion to school – you live your religion, it isn’t something an hour a week, at the building with the “T” in front. My second grade Jewish/holocaust survivor came to our first communion. Twenty two of her 25 students were receiving for the first time, it was a big deal in our lives and I am glad Irma Bachner was there. Maybe if we spent some time in other peoples Houses’ of Worship, we might might be killing each other so much.

  • Daniel Clark

    This is America. I don’t know what country this teacher came from. But she should know that your heart actually stops beating when you sneeze and that’s why the Bless You phrase came about. If she doesn’t like it, she can move to a deserted island where she can make her own rules.

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