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. Bill

    This is kids being kids...mocking the public prayer posture taken by Tebow at special occasions. Frankly, I doubt whether it inspires many believers to do the same, since most people of faith tend to keep it a personal matter between themselves and their God – rather than making it into a public spectacle. Anyway, these school authorities surely over-reacted to a harmless mocking prank. Put it behind and move on!

    December 16, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • jj

      UGH – we wish they'd keep their beliefs quiet. It is supposed to be something private between you and your belief system. But no, they have to spread the word, whether you find their beliefs offensive, childish or just unwanted.

      December 17, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      NICE SAVE Superintendent Nancy Carney! Reading her statements pegged my BS meter...

      December 17, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Stan Robinson

    Idiots. They're too stupid to take up a place in a school where other kids might want to learn. They should be permanently kicked out.

    December 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Oh, and kids shouldn't be able to have fun? I'm so happy I'm not one of YOUR kids should you ever decide to have any. I really would pity them.

      December 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SNAPPA

    Friggin wackos, Teabow is nothing more than an ignorant moron who shouldn't be emulated. More kids drawn into a cult by a person who does not deserve the attention he's getting. The attention is all scripted he isn't even that good a football player but because of his so called faith based actions and the NFL want to put him out front to show how the league is not what people preceive it to be. I for one find Teabow offensive and idiotic and extremley uneducated.

    December 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Not to mention he's guitly of child abuse, telling little kids they will burn in hell forever if they don't accept jesus forever.

      December 17, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan Green

      Ignorant moron? You gotta be kidding me. When I look at so many pro athletes that can't put two sentences together, are covered with tattoos, beat their girlfriends, and so forth, Tim Tebow is amazing. He's a humble, decent guy. I'm not at all religious, but that's not even the point. He's a sincere, polite guy that busts his butt on the field. He's not that good of a football player, huh? He's probably the greatest every to play college ball, and I say that by looking at his stats and his accomplishments. Are two national championships and a Heisman good enough for you? As a pro, he may still be green, but he gets better every game and guess what....he wins. I'm not a big fan of the praying stuff because it's only a game, but this is a decent, humble guy and a breath of fresh air compared to so many of his fellow pro athletes.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Coco

    Guys...I still do not know what to get my kitten for a Christmas present. She enjoys watching & reading Harry Potter with me, but i'm not exactly sure what to get her......any ideas? PLEASE HELP!

    December 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • dan

      cat nip lots and lots of it.. lol

      December 17, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. achepotle

    Why just suspend them..I think they should be charged.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • petz

      Do tell. And what do you think they should be charged with? It's a good thing dimwits like you aren't in charge.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    It was a flash mob in a HS. Big whup. Why is this even news? Because they were 1)honoring or 2)making fun of Tebow?
    Honestly, who gives AFF?

    December 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scott A

    Great news that they were suspended. If you're going to pray, even if mimicking the arrogant jerk that is Tebow, then do it outside of school, in the home and/or the church where it belongs. And don't block hallways no matter what. Do these kids even know what "fire hazard" means? When I was in school, students were suspended just for talking while announcements were going on over the school's P.A. system, so nobody should be outraged that praying in school like the false idol that is Tebow is grounds for suspension.

    December 17, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • kidzoloft

      You are ignorant. Tim Tebow is the most humble individual playing professional sports.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • mightyfudge

      MIght want to google "Braylon Edwards". And he did it with no mention of supernatural assistance. He's the real hero.

      December 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ???

      Let me get this straight... you don't think kids should be allowed to pray (or even pretend to pray) in school but you think he's a "false idol" !?!? False idols according to the Bible, to which I'm sure you're referring, are anything but God, yet you are agaist prayer. So I can assume you're not a Christian, in which case there should be no such thing as a "false idol". What, may I ask, do you consider a REAL or TRUE idol?

      January 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LuzLin

    Are you kidding me? Suspended? They didn't even suspend Jerry Sandusky for all of those years.
    Methinks your thinking is a little off kilter.

    December 17, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. James 'Jim' Oss

    As a retired former principal and science teacher, I'd venture to say they were being sarcastic; mocking. The mistake was in punishing them because that is just what they wanted. The thing to do would have been to ignore them and a short while, the behavior wouldl baseline just as the fad of 'planing' did. Punishment? Sure, if they were late for class, mark them down as tardy.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian teaching from KY

      Yes, it was an overreaction that gave two cutups the attention they desired. Too bad you're retired. We could really use leadership from individuals with common sense!

      December 26, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Murphy

    Must be a Democratic thing, looks plain dumb.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • petz

      As opposed to stupid like Republicants?

      December 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    What kind of punishment is anticipated if the same students were mimicking someone with a straw in one nostril while closing the other nostril with a finger, and snorting powder up thier nose....? Write, 300 times...I will not snort..I will not snort.

    December 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FBMarky

    Well, I've seen Tebow kissing other guys, too. It would have been funnier if they'd imitated that!

    December 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Greg Powell

    A few comments for 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. I too was once a Christ-mocker. But He patiently drew me to Himself and gave me real life. Ask Him for forgiveness and life and peace. See what happens.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-Bear in B'ham

      Mr. Powell, I also rarely "enter the fray" in these sort of discussions. So many people are blind to any belief other than their own. My own brother and sister are both atheists, and I respect their opinions and their actions. They both lead moral, upstanding lives filled with love and success. I don't think that God will send them to eternal damnation because they have not been baptized. I don't think that they have to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior in order to be happy. However, I have seen the Word change more people's lives for the better than Hitchens' essays. (May he rest in peace, and please believe that no disrespect is intended.) I just wanted to thank you for your reasoned, kind approach to this discussion. And I agree; it seems like the most vicious and hateful comments are not coming from the Christians in this case.

      December 18, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bugs

      Many thanks to Mr. Powell for a calm, rational post. It is refreshing to be reminded that there are people who actually have a clue as to what Christianity is about. It is NOT (contrary to the behavior of so many of those who "led" the slaughter of the 30 years war, and so many other conflicts) about hatred and negativity.

      December 23, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ruth from Ohio

    I support this man for doing this,this is not something he just started this is his life!!!!Shame on that school for suspending the students.....I am so sick of trying to be political correct and offending a certain race or political idiots in Washington for allowing these people to control Americans....do not like it....leave !!!! this country was founded on Christain faith.....

    December 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pat H

    Religiosity? Not a word according to Oxford, but hey let's not let that stop us. The evolution of English is being led by
    Internet hacks who never bothered to learn English. Sorry for conversating off topic.

    December 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
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