December 16th, 2011
07:08 PM ET

'Tebowing' high school students suspended for blocking hallway

Two "Tebowing" high school students have been suspended for blocking the hallway while mimicking the quarterback's famous prayer pose.

The boys were two of four students to trigger a wave of some 40 students kneeling in between classes, Riverhead High School Principal David Wicks said. The students caused a safety hazard, he said. The incident was captured on a smartphone and posted to YouTube.

"It was basically just a tribute to Tim Tebow," The New York Post quoted one of the boys as saying. "It was more than a religious thing. There was some of that involved obviously, because he prays. I guess it was basically like a moment of silence."

The two students received in-school suspension because they had been warned before about pulling disruptive stunts in the middle of the hallway, Wick said. The others received a verbal warning.

"This is about students causing an unsafe situation by blocking the hallways," Wicks said. "This has nothing to do with Tim Tebow or punishing the students for their religion beliefs. If they'd been sitting in the hallway with their legs crossed they'd receive the same discipline."

Tebow mania is sweeping the nation, inspired by the Denver Broncos quarterback's overt religiosity and knack for winning despite less than stellar stats.

"I think it’s wonderful that our students look up to sports heroes such as Mr. Tebow, but we can’t allow students to create unsafe situations in school," Superintendent Nancy Carney said in a statement.

"The students stated that there was nothing religious about their actions and that they were just having fun. We hope that these students and all of our students continue to look up to the positive role models in public life; we just encourage them to do it in a responsible way."

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Filed under: Football • Pro football • Sports • Tim Tebow
soundoff (588 Responses)
  1. Dumba**Kids

    This is a fair punishment for the stupidity of these kids. I highly doubt that it was a religious think other than them just wanting to be asses. Hope they got their a88 whooped when they got home.

    December 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      Oh, get over it! Kids will be kids.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tex Gritter

      If there was any sincerity, there is a proper way to go about the Prayer thing. I tend to think that the boys were acting in mockery. If that had happened when I was a high-schooler, the teacher nearest me would have paddled my behind until I couldn't set down. How times change in a mere 18 years.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Terry

    Great! Now we have our kids praying in school. What next? I know, we will suspend them for praying. Good grief! The kids are running through the halls yelling, "I told it would work – FREE DAY, FREE DAY, FREE DAY.

    December 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      Um...they weren't suspended for praying in school. They weren't even praying, it looks more like they were making a joke of Tebow and were going to put it on YouTube.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bobby frank

    I don't really have anything against TEBO but i think it is alittle sad that folks pray to something like winning a game. I save my prayers for something much more important like...please help my dying mother live and be ok. When we say prayers for every little thing, then i believe it just goes too far! I want my prayers to be something that I really think God will listen to. I don't want to really bother him when it's just not a matter of life or death.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      Yeah, I think He would not be too interested in winning some game either.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Juanita

    The crap schools have to go through. They are nothing but disruptive brats. It has nothing to do with school. Get to your freekin' classes and read something. Modern kids are the dumbest thing going.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nyker4657984

    wasn't there an article today about Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars day? About how it's okay to do be brave about what you love?

    December 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |


    December 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corwin7

      Christians work to repeal religious freedoms in America...welcome to the new American Taliban!!!

      December 17, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ben

    The Observer has been slain.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mikeq

    THese students were being disruptive. In-school suspension. Nothing to get all excited about.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. deecee

    Why doesn't the NFL stop those attention-seeking displays of piety just like they put a stop to the endzone show offs?(Unless God really is spending his time cheering on the Broncos (and haating the Colts)

    December 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      The NFL would put a stop to it if it were any religion other than Christianity.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike_NY

    This is just another ridiculous overreaction by NY area schools in a line of many. There was the little boy who got in trouble for having a tiny toy gun. Or the teacher arrested in the Bronx cause he grabbed the obnoxiously acting child by the arm and forced her into her chair. Schools are supposed to be places of free thinking and exchanging ideas. They are fast becoming min-prisons for our youth. It's disgraceful and ridiculous.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Greg Powell

    It's always interesting for me to read people's responses to articles, especially anything that can in some way be connected to religion. Eric, I notice that you have responded to this story with several posts. The reality of God obviously pushes a pretty emotional button in you. It would be worth your while to do a little honest self analysis. What past experiences may be informing your emotional reaction against God. In one of your posts you asked, "Which super guy in the sky did you pray to?" That exact same language is used thousands of times by atheists in responses to articles on CNN. Did you all go to the same seminar on how to ridicule Christians and the God we worship? Or do you all just get talking point emails? A point of advise: If you are going to dialogue with biblical Christians, you may want to educate yourself by reading a good systematic theology. We do not believe that God lives in the sky. That is a silly straw man that is not going to advance your viewpoint. We believe that the triune God is omnipresent, meaning that He is everywhere present all the time. And that includes right there with you, right now, if you happen to be reading this (or if you're not). Eric, may you sense God's presence. Quiet your heart and set aside your anger for a moment, and listen. May you hear His whispered voice in your heart. And may you come to know the love of Jesus. This one thing will change everything for you forever. (One more thing: I was not raised, or brainwashed, in a religious home. It was not until I was an adult and in college that I checked out the Bible, and Jesus, for myself. As with C.S. Lewis and so many other skeptics before me, Jesus won the day... He won my heart. May He win yours also.)

    December 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spiffy

      Good job writing a text wall that no one will read.

      December 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corwin7

      No athiests and agnostics don't get talking point memos we just see the hypocracy of the religious right who claim to support and love Jesus and spew hate and bigotry nonstop these days. If you truly love Jesus as you say and are committed to his cause perhaps your ire might be better served by directing it at your supposed fellow believers who so obviously have no grasp of his message rather than directing it at the few others who feel that they too have a right to thier belief system. You do realize that freedom of religion isn't judo christian specific right?

      December 17, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg Powell

      Corwin7: (1) None of the Christians I personally know "spew hate and bigotry" at all, not to mention "nonstop." Even in these posts, look honestly at who is spewing hate and you will see that it is primarily the anti-Christians. Take for example the very next post after yours (from C.Sean), "Lets let the Christians go to a separate 'special' school for the mentally impaired..there they can pray for a clue, all day long...have faith, you will learn! or if you do not like that, maybe a spin in the shower with Sandusky will do it for you red staters." There is nothing thoughtful, meaningful or compelling about such juvenile, needlessly insulting posts. Yet they flow endlessly from the militant atheists who respond to these articles. What they show me is that these people are very angry and either unwilling or unable to engage in honest debate concerning specific points. (2) Yes, I completely agree that freedom of religion is (or at least should be) for everyone. That message primarily needs to be preached in Islamic and Atheistic/Communist countries. (3) I also agree with you that there are "supposed" fellow believers. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian actually is. Jesus Himself spoke rather forcefully about this tragic fact. When judging "Christians," please remember that "you will know a tree by its fruit." (4) I'm sorry if anything in my post communicated "ire." I really don't feel any. (5) I have precious friendships with people who hold radically different religious beliefs from mine (including atheists and Muslims). We have respectful, honest conversation built on authentic listening. Such listening, with a desire to understand, seems to be almost non-existent in these online posts... which is why I rarely bother to enter the fray. But for some reason I felt like throwing my two cents into this discussion. (6) I'm sorry if you've run into religious hypocrisy. I myself have been disappointed and disillusioned by the hypocrisy of religious people, including the inconsistent fellow I see in the mirror. This is why Scripture advises us to "fix our eyes on Jesus" and seek God's grace and mercy and forgiveness for ourselves and others. We are all sinners, all hypocrites, all in need of God's merciful kindness. May you see past the sinners to the sinless One who bore our sin.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. C.Sean

    Lets let the Christians go to a separate "special" school for the mentally impaired..there they can pray for a clue, all day long...have faith, you will learn! or if you do not like that, maybe a spin in the shower with Sandusky will do it for you red staters'.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JJ

    For the Christians who think kneeling in the hallway and praying to jeeeezus is just would you react if the students were to pull our their prayer rugs face Mecca and bow in silent prayer to the true god...Allah?

    December 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.Sean

      If they did that they would see a brand of Muslim law enforced upon them Christian style.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Spiffy

    Living in Riverhead and knowing some of the kids involved I know it wasn't done for religious reasons. It was done to be annoying, and as a prank. They wanted to block the halls to try to be funny.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Portland tony


    December 16, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
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