Suspended for “Tebowing”?

posted at 2:50 pm on December 16, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

There’s nothing like parental and/or school overreaction to a momentary fad for headlines and commentary, is there?  Whether it’s the overblown “sexting” craze, “rainbow parties,” or the pregnancy pact that spawned a really bad TV movie, it’s always a moment for immediate action — which isn’t to say that some action is entirely unwarranted.  In New York, a high school has suspended some of its students for creating a “hallway hazard” for …. Tebowing:

The Tebow mania sweeping the nation sacked a group of Long Island high-school students who were suspended for mimicking the quarterback’s famous prayer pose.

Twin brothers Tyler and Connor Carroll of Riverhead HS and classmates Jordan Fulcoly and Wayne Drexel were hit with one-day suspensions for kneeling and bowing their heads like Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow does when he scores a touchdown.

Administrators said the weeklong “Tebowing” craze was a distraction and a hallway hazard after dozens of classmates followed their lead. …

About 40 students had been gathering in the hallway all week emulating Tebow.

School administrators said the stunt jammed the hallway, making students late for class, and was a fire hazard.

“This is not about religious discrimination,” said Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney. “It is about being sure kids are able to get to class on time and keeping the kids safe and orderly.”

Well, just how dangerous was it?  Having 40 students kneeling in the hallway certainly generates a distraction and arguably a fire hazard, too. Tebow fans at the school could have conducted their demonstration at recess out in an open space rather than the hallways, so the school has a legitimate beef. However, it hardly seems like the kind of “dangerous” situation that warrants suspensions.  The school claims they warned the brothers to stop, which the brothers dispute, but a detention or two would have sufficed, at least in the sense of having the punishment fit the crime. The school appears to have lost some perspective in their haste to stem the Tebow tide.

Fox News devoted a segment to it today, and Judge Andrew Napolitano explains that the school couldn’t punish students for actual prayer, but they certainly could for just honoring an athlete in a disruptive manner:


The school needs to keep the hallways clear, but suspending students for Tebowing is a bit of an overreaction, especially for a passing fad like this. I’m not sure how it will survive Denver’s game with New England this week, anyway.


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They are blocking the hall and laughing about it in the video.

Hardly deep in prayer…just a bunch of jocks being jocks.

Pablo Honey on December 16, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Sorry if I misunderstood you (it happens), but I really do think of our Public Schools as being managed like (but not identical to) prisons.

listens2glenn on December 16, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Nope. My bad. All me.

And agreed, in general.

I am just wondering now if that school is truly a tough school. None of mine were ever after-school-special bad, so the idea that “it might start a riot” might actually make sense never entered my mind.

Axe on December 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Nessuno on December 16, 2011 at 3:01 PM

The problem is not punishment, the problem is punishment that doesn’t fit the crime. I taught for a quarter century in a low socio-economic school district in Southern California. I can tell you horror story after horror story of punishment that had nothing to do with the infraction.

chemman on December 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

*sigh*

Educators without common sense strike again!

“Ok boys, just get up and move along” should have been sufficient.

ProfShadow on December 16, 2011 at 3:59 PM

The problem is not punishment, the problem is punishment that doesn’t fit the crime

Correct.. Suspension, because a bunch of high schoolers decided to follow your lead. How about a warning? How about detention, but suspension is ridiculous.

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Ed, it’s not a fire hazard, not even arguably a fire hazard. If there was a fire, I’m sure the kids would just…you know…stand up and move.

pauljc on December 16, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Furthermore I see a lot of comments calling out those who are questioning the schools motive, but do we really know the kids motive. Maybe they were sincere. Probably not, but we don’t know. If they were sincere, then the school effectively suspended them for praying.

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 4:05 PM

I know that you don’t hold out hope that huge groups of high school kids are simultaneously dropping to a knee in the middle of the hallway between classes and having an intimate little conversation with God. Seriously?

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Depends. Was it during mid-terms?

:P

DrAllecon on December 16, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Where about? My family is Queen bred on madre’s side.

Born, raised and currently living in Queens.

Riverhead, LI is the Alabama of Suffolk County.

TheLastBrainLeft on December 16, 2011 at 4:06 PM

The principal is a dope. Where your suspension for Tebowing as a badge of honor young men!

FireBlogger on December 16, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I know that you don’t hold out hope that huge groups of high school kids are simultaneouslypr dropping to a knee in the middle of the hallway between classes and having an intimate little conversation with God

A huge group of high school students didn’t get suspended. Four did! And you don’t know their motive. Maybe they were sincerely praying.

They got punished for a bogus reason. For whatever reason they got punished because 40 kids decided to follow them. Certainly not their fault. Teachers shouldn’t punish four kids because kids are a bunch of followers.

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Next time kids hold up condoms, that’s perfectly acceptable in high schools all over the country.

Smedley on December 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Wow. What would the punishment be for a Chinese Firedrill? Jail time? Please. Let them have a little harmless fun. Their antics could be a whole lot worse and if they do not get to blow off a little energy from time to time, you end up with much worse outbursts.

I don’t see this as an effort to stamp out religous expression as much as over-zealous school authorities trying to control the kids e.g. ‘Another Brick In The Wall’

Jack

Jack Slade on December 16, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Next time kids hold up condoms, that’s perfectly acceptable in high schools all over the country.

Of course it is.. So are clubs based solely on sexuality.. And none of those things are distractions to school/

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Why do I have this suspicion that is they had just put down a prayer rug first the school would have been more tolerant?

MikeA on December 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Whole lotta Christian paranoia on display here…

If I can count on anything, I can count on public school administrators sucking the fun and common sense out of adolescent life. That said, most Christian youth I know would be overjoyed at the instant mini-martyrdom that comes with being tossed by a public official after bowing down before god and man.

Also – why do Christians (or anyone else for that matter) continue to send their children to public schools? If you’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to homeschool your children and you’re not up to your elbows in school board meetings, you have nothing more than your right to gripe, but your religious paranoia would be better channeled at actual issues affecting you. Blaming Muslims and political correctness (the former of which had nothing to do with this case) is just silly.

King B on December 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Also – why do Christians (or anyone else for that matter) continue to send their children to public schools?

Because I pay taxes. If you want my Christian child out of public school push for vouchers.

If you’re not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to homeschool your children

Because we are two income family.. That is as stupid as saying “why don’t non-Christians” homeschool. They are the ones who drove Christmas parties and prayer out of school..

but your religious paranoia would be better channeled at actual issues affecting you.

School officials over-reacted and over punished. Get it? The punishment did not fit the crime.

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

and was a fire hazard.

Tebowing causes fires? Wow, who knew?

xblade on December 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

“School administrators said the stunt jammed the hallway, making students late for class, and was a fire hazard.”

Indeed, kneeling and bowing like that could shift intestinal gas, which as we all know is inflammable. A malfunctioning ballast from “green” fluorescent lights overhead could set off a spark thus causing a minor explosion and subsequent stampede.

As to judge Napolitano’s argument, he is all gas and no substance. Whether the students were bowing for Jesus or bowing for Tebow, it doesn’t change the laws of physics or the fire code. Besides, if you allow prayer for Jesus, soon you’ll have Muslims with their butt up in the air facing Mecca and demanding equal treatment.

The school is just making a mountain out of a molehill. These things used to be settles without suspension or official disciplinary procedures. But I don’t blame the school officials, they are afraid of lawsuits and disciplinary actions against them if they don’t cover their asses at every turn.

Mark Ybel on December 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Clubs based on sexuality? Orgy clubs? Where did you go to school?

Smedley on December 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Principal FAIL. He should’ve sent them to detention OT.

Can I get an “Amen!”?

Christien on December 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Clubs based on sexuality? Orgy clubs? Where did you go to school?

GLBT clubs are in school all over.

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Wait, wait, wait a doggone minute here.

Did they refuse to move when asked? Were they made aware that they were creating a fire hazard (in the school’s opinion, because it is no such thing)? Was their purpose to create an obstruction? Or was it a byproduct they didn’t consider?

How ’bout this response: “Hey boys, take it outside,”? How ’bout: “Gentlemen, you’re blocking the hallway. Please allow others to pass,”? How ’bout: “Guys – enough. Get yourselves to class. Thank you,”?

How do they go straight to suspensions? Where’s the interaction? Where’s the teaching? Where’s the love?

Pablo Snooze on December 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

King B on December 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

The Christian paranoia always makes me wonder just how close certain folks relationship to Christ is in the first place. Faith is a practice and the Christians I know who are spiritually grounded practice their faith at least once a day, and throughout the day, but they are discreet about it. They are quite secure that when they talk to God, he can hear them whether they shout, whisper or whether its quiet. Now on Sundays, yes they can definitely act up and shout and praise and testify and that’s the appropriate forum for it. To those Christians who are *constantly freaking out* about how the public deals with your faith. Stop, breath, pray, talk with God and move on with your life.

libfreeordie on December 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Principal FAIL. He should’ve sent them to detention OT.

Christien on December 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM

You have no idea what occurred before the suspensions, or what sort of disciplinary history these students have. This thread contains some of the most embarrassing stupidity in Hotair comment history.

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

How do they go straight to suspensions? Where’s the interaction? Where’s the teaching? Where’s the love?

Pablo Snooze on December 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

As I said earlier, the school authorities are being over-zealous. Can’t treat the kids like young adults, oh no. Might send the wrong message and undo years of programming.

Jack

Jack Slade on December 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

How do they go straight to suspensions? Where’s the interaction? Where’s the teaching? Where’s the love?

Pablo Snooze on December 16, 2011 at 4:22 PM

What makes you think any of the clowns here even care about that stuff? They don’t want to know, they want to be able to assume the worst about a situation they know almost nothing about, so that they can prance around and humiliate themselves while screaming about how persecuted they are.

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 4:27 PM

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Good point. However, perfectly complete information would be the death of blogs.

Jack

Jack Slade on December 16, 2011 at 4:30 PM

These pranks turn into flash mob type scenes really quickly. Like food fights in the old days, it reaches a critical mass then boom! mayhem. The kids love it and it is every admins nightmare. The goal? Pictures up on facebook or vids on Youtube.

snowcrash on December 16, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Riverhead, LI is the Alabama of Suffolk County.

TheLastBrainLeft on December 16, 2011 at 4:06 PM

lol you couldn’t be more wrong

blatantblue on December 16, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Tebowing causes fires? Wow, who knew?

xblade on December 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Anti-Christians fear what is being prayed for.

They should have worn burkas or Cinco de Mayo t-shirts before they Tebowed.

Roy Rogers on December 16, 2011 at 4:35 PM

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I recommend replacing the battery in your Sarcasm Detector every six months. Same goes for your Irony Meter.

Christien on December 16, 2011 at 4:37 PM

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

No, we don’t know what happened. Neither do you.. Get it? You don’t know if that those four children were actually praying, now do you.. You just assume. Pot meet kettle.

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

The best part about an obvious joke is when it has to be explained to those who don’t get it.

/<—sarcasm tag<—sarcastic sarcasm tag

Christien on December 16, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Just stupid kids trying to cause trouble, get attention, and annoy the administration. Just go to class and try to learn something.

ZippyZ on December 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Whatever happened to Saturday detention breakfast club style?

Daemonocracy on December 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM

lol you couldn’t be more wrong

I stand by it. The North Fork, except for Greenport is the Arkansas/Alabama/insert southern state here of Suffolk County. I have relatives in both RH and Mattituck so I am familiar with it.

TheLastBrainLeft on December 16, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Whatever happened to Saturday detention breakfast club style?

It disappeared with Molly Ringwald’s career.

TheLastBrainLeft on December 16, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I know no one who prays as a “joke.”

Tebowing may be, understandably, a ‘fad’ in the sense that a sports hero has set a standard of behavior that others are emulating, but, it doesn’t inherently mean that there’s anything artificial or insincere occurring in the act of bowing to pray, or in the prayers themselves.

Lourdes on December 16, 2011 at 3:25 PM

its a joke, believe me:
http://tebowing.com/

nathor on December 16, 2011 at 4:58 PM

I stand by it. The North Fork, except for Greenport is the Arkansas/Alabama/insert southern state here of Suffolk County. I have relatives in both RH and Mattituck so I am familiar with it.

TheLastBrainLeft on December 16, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Okay I’ll bite. What do you mean by the “Alabama” of Suffolk?

Topography? Yes.

blatantblue on December 16, 2011 at 5:00 PM

“arguably a fire hazard?”

Really? Come on, you mean that because they were on their knees, they were now permanent fixtures in the hallway? They would not be capable of getting to their feet in the event of an emergency?

A suspension for that? Common sense weeps.

AZfederalist on December 16, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Well, just how dangerous was it? Having 40 students kneeling in the hallway certainly generates a distraction and arguably a fire hazard, too.

Pretty sure starting any sentence with “Having 40 students” would have had the same effect without the Tebowing lol. Kids are crazy.

BKennedy on December 16, 2011 at 5:06 PM

If those kids want to be IDIOTS and make fun of someone because of his religion I say let them grow up and look back on it with shame I HOPE. I would have given them study hall after school if anything. If the other 36 kids are stupid enough to blindly follow someone else’s bad example…well….you can’t always fix stupid.

SgtRed on December 16, 2011 at 5:25 PM

That Jesus dude spawned more radicals who want to honor God’s Messiah more than they feared the school Administrators Powers.

That hasn’t changed much since Moses by faith became a hazardous problem to Egypt.

Perhaps they can be ordered never to speak Tebow’s name again or take his stance again? That should end this extremist movement.

jimw on December 16, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Dopey bored kids. In my day nothing less than M8os in the parking lot would do.

trollope of whyte trashe on December 16, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Prayer in School! We certainly cannot have that!

Uh, that’s not “Tebowing” – it’s called “praying”.

wdkeller

CiLH1 on December 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM

No, we don’t know what happened. Neither do you.. Get it? You don’t know if that those four children were actually praying, now do you.. You just assume. Pot meet kettle.

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I and every other sane person knows what those kids were doing, and it wasn’t praying or religious in any way. What YOU don’t know is the extent to which they had been previously disciplined for this or other activities and you are making a fool of yourself.

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM

I missed the Bible verse that says,
Wearing a Broncos jersey, He knelt before His Lord he raising clenched fists to his brow…

Stand up for what you believe. That means getting in trouble sometimes.

Witness, don’t whine.

Capitalist Hog on December 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM

I bet if they’d held “Occupy [school name]” signs, they not only would not have been suspended, but would have had teachers praising them.

malclave on December 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM

I’ll believe the school adminsitration when they suspend a Muslim or Leftist/Progressive kid for some similarly dispruptive stunt

krome on December 16, 2011 at 5:57 PM

You’re kidding, right? I know that you don’t hold out hope that huge groups of high school kids are simultaneously dropping to a knee in the middle of the hallway between classes and having an intimate little conversation with God. Seriously?

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 3:41 PM

The “Anyway, regarding Tebowing…” was supposed to transition from this specific example to Tebowing in general. I believe there are three types of Tebowing: those who are actually praying, those who are cheering for Tim Tebow and those who are mocking Tim Tebow/Christianity.

If people are actually praying, I am all for it. I usually look at their faces…are they serene and contemplative? Or hamming it up?

cptacek on December 16, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Curious to know if anyone at that school in the past has been suspended for “planking”. I’d bet not.

rightinthekeys on December 16, 2011 at 6:24 PM

I just hope they don’t start burning mosques and stuff.

vcferlita on December 16, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Mark Ybel on December 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

lol… fantastic.

Symshady on December 16, 2011 at 6:32 PM

…a detention or two would have sufficed, at least in the sense of having the punishment fit the crime. The school appears to have lost some perspective in their haste to stem the Tebow tide.

So many of our schools seem to have it written in their charter somewhere that “administrators are expected to be completely lacking in perspective and judgement at all times.”

It’s no wonder that teachers get less respect these days. School officials are, by actions such as this, teaching the kids that adults (at least the ones populating our schools) are stupid and unworthy of respect.

landlines on December 16, 2011 at 6:41 PM

PS – I’ll bet this school will be installing foot baths for the Muslim kids next year…

landlines on December 16, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Riverhead, LI is the Alabama of Suffolk County.
 
TheLastBrainLeft on December 16, 2011 at 4:06 PM

 
So folks say sir and ma’am and excuse me, hold the door for others, and wave drivers through at stop signs even if they got there first?

rogerb on December 16, 2011 at 6:58 PM

This thread contains some of the most embarrassing stupidity in Hotair comment history.

DaveS on December 16, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Your comment contains some of the most unconvincing remarks in HotAir comment history.

See how easy that was? Hyperbole is unoriginal and simplistic.

Capitalist Hog on December 16, 2011 at 7:12 PM

… one-day suspensions for kneeling and bowing their heads …

.
One-day suspensions seem a bit much for kneeling …
.
… but the precedent has been set.
.
Let the school principal’s and all other involved teacher’s pay be suspended for one day … per suspended student.
.
Perhaps then common sense will return.

Avenging Disco Godfather on December 16, 2011 at 8:07 PM

What YOU don’t know is the extent to which they had been previously disciplined for this or other activities and you are making a fool of yourself

I am not the one adamantly saying that he knows the motive behind both parties. You are! I said that the punishment didn’t fit the crime, capice? You are the one going around calling people fools for assuming the motive of the school while saying that you know for sure the kids weren’t praying. Their own statement says it was part Tebow and part religious, yet you can see into their minds that they weren’t being religious at all. You assume that teenagers can’t be devout which is patently untrue. The fool is generally the one that can’t see the idiocy of his statement.

melle1228 on December 16, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Capitalist Hog on December 16, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Cool reply. : )

listens2glenn on December 16, 2011 at 9:40 PM

It seems like a lot of people just read the title of the post and jumped into comment, here’s a pertinent quote from the article:

“These students were warned and and did it again,” Carney said. “If the kids aren’t going to abide by rules, there are consequences.” Connor insisted the Tebowers did not create a safety problem. “There was no pushing or shoving,’’ he said. But a video of the stunt posted on YouTube clearly show kids shoving each other.

They kids said they weren’t warned and there was no shoving, but the video is unmistakable – the entire hallway gets blocked up and leads to shoving and fighting – so their credibility is already pretty shaky. A cheap stunt is exactly what this was. Imagine the kind of apoplexy there would be if this was a bunch of Muslim students blocking up the hallway to pray to Mecca (and shoving other students who tried to walk by). No religion should be favored.

trizzlor on December 16, 2011 at 11:17 PM

School administrators said the stunt jammed the hallway, making students late for class, and was a fire hazard.

So what about the rest of the time when couples are blocking the hallways sucking face, little groups twittering on about their oh-so-important teenage angst issues, and the general ass-grabbing going on?

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 17, 2011 at 12:04 AM

Hardly deep in prayer…just a bunch of jocks being jocks.

Ex-act-ly.

Tom_Shipley on December 17, 2011 at 12:07 AM

I don’t think suspensions are strong enough action… firing(s) would be more appropriate, IMO…

GuitarMark on December 17, 2011 at 3:23 AM

Schools haven’t changed much sense the 50′s, water guns and everyone coughing at a certain time. Anything to get the teachers upset.

mixplix on December 17, 2011 at 10:50 AM

“could have done this at recess”

Heh. Ed, do you know any highschoolers?

Book on December 17, 2011 at 2:14 PM

This was essentially a flash mob at school, and given the size of many public schools, five minutes is hardly enough time to get from class to class through crowded hallways, especially if you need to stop at a locker along the way.

This was disruptive and silly and they deserve the punishment they get for doing it on the school’s time, especially because you can see the kids piling up behind them. Those kids aren’t lining up to watch the spectacle–they wanna get the hell to their next class because that teacher, you know the one, she hates tardy students.

mintycrys on December 17, 2011 at 2:37 PM

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